A bill that would protect the jobs of emergency service volunteers who are called out on an emergency during business hours easily passed the Senate and now awaits the Governor’s signature.
H.B. 173 is the Emergency Services Volunteer Employment Protection Act.
“What this bill does is protect the jobs of those who serve us,” according to the bill’s sponsor, Representative Casey Snider, R-District 5.
“This bill says that if an emergency volunteer, a member of search and rescue, a firefighter or a volunteer EMT is in the act of serving our community and responding to a rescue, they can’t be terminated,” said Snider.
Snider outlined a number of scenarios where emergency service volunteers find themselves helping out. “If you crash on some dark rural stretch of county road, in rural Utah,” he said, “it will be someone who is a volunteer who packs you up and puts you in an ambulance.”
Representative Val Potter, R-District 3, supported the bill and thanked Representative Snider for bringing it forward.
“There are problems getting volunteers to step up these days,” Potter said. “Years ago, we used to have volunteer forces with lots of volunteers well trained. It’s becoming less and less.” He added, “We need to do everything we can to knock those barriers down and encourage volunteers to step up.”
Snider said, “This also showcases that we support those who serve us and care about the jobs that they currently have.”