Legislation Safeguarding Mental and Emotional Support for First Responders Passes Unanimously

Posted on April 11, 2019 by admin


Rep. Sredzinski, a Strong Advocate of the Bill, Thanks Committee Chairs

HARTFORD – A bill that has full backing from State Representative JP Sredzinski (R-112), House Bill (HB) 7394, which would protect the confidentiality of certain communications that take place between a first responder and a peer support team member, has passed unanimously out of the Judiciary Committee.

“As someone who has worked in public safety for 24 years, I am proud to have testified before the Judiciary Committee last week alongside fellow Dispatch Supervisor and Reverend Stephen J. Johnson in support of this legislation,” said Rep. Sredzinski, who is currently the only co-sponsor of the bill. “I want to thank the co-chairs of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Stafstrom and Sen Winfield; as well as Ranking Members Rep. Rebimbas and Sen. Kissel for helping get this bill through committee. I will continue to work on the bill to adjust language as needed and work to get this called to the floor of the House.”

“Prolonged exposure to profoundly challenging circumstances such as death, grief, suffering and injury, takes a toll on the mental and emotional health of Connecticut’s first responders,” Rev. Johnson, who does a great deal of work with first responders in regards to mental health and chaplaincy services, said when testifying in favor of the bill. “Peer support is one of the most effective tools first responders utilize to aid each other in times of personal and professional crisis. This bill would therefore remove first responders’ fear of exposure when leaning on their peers for support and being vulnerable about the hardships they have endured.”

The bill must receive passing votes in both the House and Senate before the end of the 2019 Legislative Session on June 5th before Governor Lamont can sign it into law. All bills can be tracked on the General Assembly’s website at www.cga.ct.gov.