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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: February 23, 2023 01:02 PM
From: Representative Melissa Cerrato
To: All House members
Subject: Workers Compensation for Off Duty Emergency Personnel
Volunteer emergency responders are the heroes next door – they put their lives on the line to save the lives of fellow Pennsylvanians. However, volunteer ambulance corps members – unlike volunteer fire departments – do not have workers’ compensation (WC) protections when responding to an emergency while off-duty.
I believe it is important to protect our EMS providers who are dedicated to saving the lives of others, even when they are not officially on duty. That is why I intend to introduce legislation to extend WC protections to off-duty members of emergency medical services agencies. Specifically, my proposal amends Section 601 of Act 338 of 1915, known as the Workers’ Compensation Act, to extend WC coverage to EMS personnel if the following apply:
  • Is a member of an EMS agency.
  • Is certified by the PA Department of Health as an EMS provider.
  • Renders emergency care, first aid, or rescue services at the scene of an emergency.
  • When rendering aid, operates within their scope of practice.
  • While rendering aid is injured or dies while providing emergency care.
Whether they respond to a 911 call with their EMS agency for a municipality or freely utilize their expertise in saving a life, EMS personnel deserve to know that they and their families will be taken care of in cases involving injury or death. Expanding WC coverage benefits not only our first responders, but all Pennsylvanians who may receive lifesaving care from an off-duty EMS provider.
I would appreciate your consideration and support of this legislation. Let’s be there for those who answer the call when people need help – regardless of whether they are officially on duty.

Introduced as HB720