USA — The National Wildfire Suppression Association (NWSA) ,which represents over 200 private wildland fire companies across the United States strongly supports the Fallen Wildland Firefighters Fair Compensation Act. The bill was recently introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in the Senate Judiciary Committee. This bill if passed would help ensure that families of contract aerial and ground fire resources would be covered under the Public Safety Officers Benefits Act.
Wildland fire contractors have long provided professionally trained and qualified resources to assist our nation in response to wildland fire and other national disasters.
This bill is truly an acknowledgement of the professional contract firefighting resources who have spent decades working side by side our agency partners helping protect lives, property and our environment during fire season.
“It only makes sense that our folks, if killed or injured in the line of duty deserve the same benefits under the Public Safety Officer Benefit program as our agency partners.”, said Deborah Miley, Executive Director for the National Wildfire Suppression Association.
Contract resources on wildfires account for more that 40% nationally of all available resources, and in some regions of the United as much as 60%, and they must follow all the same guidelines and requirements as their agency partners.