House supports DeVonís bill helping police officers exposed to communicable diseases

Posted by: Devan Strebing  | Wednesday, January 31, 2018 3:30 pm

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 31, 2018) — The House of Representatives recently voted in support of State Rep. Dale DeVon’s (R-Granger) proposal that would ensure law enforcement officers are provided health protections when exposed to blood and bodily fluids while on duty.

Currently, emergency medical service providers and law enforcement officers can request to be notified of any risk of contracting dangerous communicable diseases when they provided emergency medical care to someone. This protection does not apply, however, when law enforcement are interacting with an injured suspect, for example. This bill would extend this protection to cover all official law enforcement duties.

“It is important both emergency medical service providers and law enforcement officers have the most up-to-date information regarding risks to their health,” DeVon said. “Notification of exposure to a communicable disease in a timely manner is often essential to taking preventive measures and beginning a treatment regimen.”

DeVon said this proposal will apply all of the protections and testing procedures currently afforded emergency medical service providers to law enforcement officers. If the requested tests confirm the officer was exposed to a dangerous communicable disease, this legislation ensures the officer is provided counseling and any necessary medical treatment at no charge.

“Like emergency medical service providers, our police officers should be provided assistance and resources once coming into contact with dangerous diseases while on duty,” DeVon said. “Our first responders are trained to act in an emergency, and we need to ensure they remain healthy after the fact.”

House Bill 1244 can now be considered by the Senate. For more information, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Dale DeVon (R-Granger) represents House District 5,

                                                               which includes parts of St. Joseph county.                                                                                                                

A high-resolution photo of DeVon can be downloaded by clicking here.