Legislative bill honoring fallen first responders’ families moves one step closer to approval

The bill would provide a one–time payment of $50,000 for first responders killed in the line of duty, whether that's on the scene or months to years later.
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Providing support for families of loved ones killed in the line of duty. That’s the aim of LB255, introduced by Senator Matt Hansen in 2021 after years of work.

The bill would provide a one–time payment of $50,000 for first responders killed in the line of duty, whether that’s on the scene or months to years later.

“It’s not uncommon to see people that have a catastrophic injury, you know, maybe survive for a while but you know, ultimately succumbed to their injuries or illness later,” Sen. Hansen said.

While in the line of duty deaths don’t happen often, this bill offers a sense of comfort for first responders like volunteer firefighters, who may not get all of the benefits that larger departments do.

“Through the passing of this legislation would be, I think, a weight lifted off and make it easier for people to be willing to volunteer. Take the risks that are associated with being a volunteer fire rescue person,” Bill Lundy, the Secretary/Treasurer of the Nebraska Volunteer Firefighters Association, said.

Lundy said the payment offers some stability to families as they navigate a difficult time.

“As we all know, even though you’re not around your expenses still are there. For electric bills and insurance and in car payments, and you name it. Kids braces and all those things that go along with family,” Lundy said.

The bill would help all first responders from firefighters to police to EMS. It wouldn’t be retroactive, if passed, it would start in 2022. There is one final reading on the Legislative floor before it could head to the Governor’s desk.

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