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Pennsylvania State Senate
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: August 10, 2016 09:41 AM
From: Senator John T. Yudichak
To: All Senate members
Subject: Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Volunteer Responders on State Game Lands

I soon plan to introduce legislation that would amend the Workers’ Compensation Act to require state coverage for volunteer firefighters, volunteer ambulance corps personnel and volunteer rescue squad members who suffer injuries while providing assistance on state game lands.

Similar workers’ compensation coverage has long been provided for volunteer responders injured in the performance of their duties on state parks and forest land. However, the act is currently silent on injuries sustained by volunteers answering emergency calls on state game lands. This shortcoming has been especially highlighted during accidents where hikers were seriously, and in several cases fatally, injured on game land in Carbon County and required recovery and assistance by local volunteer responders. Under current law, should a volunteer become injured during these events, the municipality’s insurance plan is now forced to cover the costs.

I believe that municipalities that provide such critical services to our Commonwealth should not incur additional financial burdens in exchange for those services. Accordingly, my legislation would require, for workers’ compensation purposes, local volunteer responders to be treated as employees of the Pennsylvania Game Commission during emergency work on state game lands.

I hope that you will join me in sponsoring this important bill. Should you have any questions, please contact my office at 717-787-7105.

Introduced as SB1363