Willis Introduces Measure to Protect Paramedics who are Injured on the Job

NORTHLAKE, Ill. – Paramedics and firefighters will be better protected if they suffer injuries on the job under a new measure being introduced by state Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Northlake.

“As the wife of a retired firefighter who suffered a major injury on the job, I know firsthand the issues faced by the men and women who are hurt on the job protecting our communities,” said Willis. “This measure will clarify the rights and benefits of firefighters and paramedics throughout Illinois to ensure they have the protections they deserve.”

Willis’ House Bill 5221 extends the job protections that other public safety officials receive while injured on the job to paramedics and firefighters who perform paramedic duties. Currently, if a law enforcement officer is injured in the line of duty and can no longer perform his or her job, that worker is paid their full salary for up to one year while he or she recuperates. Under the legislation, this same practice will be put onto place for paramedics who are also injured in the line of duty. Advocates for the legislation state it is a needed benefit to protect paramedics who are often put into harm’s way while working in dangerous neighborhoods, or while exposed to dangerous drugs commonly found at scenes involving an opioid-related emergency.

“Paramedics do not pick and choose what calls to respond to when somebody calls 911,” said Willis. “We need to let them know that we support these brave men and women and that if they are hurt, they will be protected and so will their families.”