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EMS death benefits bill goes to governor

Would give benefits to families of employees killed in line of duty

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 18, 2016) — A bill that would give families of emergency medical services personnel killed in the line of duty the same $80,000 state death benefit now provided to families of fallen police and firefighters is on its way to the governor’s desk.

kentucky_seal_resized2Senate Bill 43, sponsored by Sen. Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville, was filed following the death of Jessamine County paramedic John Mackey last November. Mackey was struck by a car while on ambulance duty.

The bill would provide an $80,000 death benefit to families of paramedics, emergency medical technicians, rescue squad members or any other emergency medical services personnel who are killed on the job on or after Nov. 1, 2015.

Rep. Russ Meyer, D-Nicholasville, presented SB 43 on the House floor for a vote. Surrounded by Mackey’s family and colleagues, Meyer the retroactive provision in the bill will allow Mackey’s family to be covered.

“On behalf of the John Mackey family and Jessamine County, we thank everyone here in this body today,” said Meyer.

SB 43, which passed the Senate unanimously on Feb. 24, is similar to House Bill 54, sponsored by Rep. Dean Schamore, D-Hardinsburg, which passed the House unanimously earlier this session.

SB 43 passed the House 95-0 and now makes its way to the governor for his signature.