Emergency responders face huge risks on the job. For police officers and firefighters across Pennsylvania, the dangers are part of the job description. When these brave government workers suffer job injuries, we rightly hail them as heroes. When they are hurt or killed on duty by someone's purposeful sabotage, the pain is felt deeply well beyond the community that suffered the loss.
It's no secret that firefighters have dangerous jobs. Dealing with burning buildings in the midst of panic and chaos takes exceptional courage and skills. With the physical risks and rigors that go along with the job, it is expected that firefighters should be taken care of when they are injured. However, the Pennsylvania Legislature is dealing with the unintended consequences of a new law that was designed to protect the rights of volunteer firefighters.
Pennsylvania, like many states graced by the mountain ranges of the eastern U.S., is no stranger to heavy industry and the accidents that can result when safety and care are overlooked. There are a lot of state and federal regulations in place aimed at trying to make the work environment safe and thus avoid workplace accidents.
Workplace injuries tend to create a lot of issues. That's why they remain a constant focus of businesses and policy makers in Pennsylvania. The worker is out of commission for at least a while. If the workplace injury is partially disabling, the worker may be at reduced productivity for an extended period. If it is permanently disabling, well, that's a whole other story.