Wesco’s bill providing confidentiality to first responders advances to governor

Posted by: Devan Strebing & Shelby Seay  | Monday, April 10, 2017

STATEHOUSE (April 10, 2017) —State Rep. Tim Wesco’s (R-Osceola) bill that would provide confidentiality to first responders who seek psychological counseling after involvement in a traumatic situation, could soon be law.

According to Wesco, the idea for this legislation was suggested by Clay Fire Territory Chief Timm Schabbel. This proposal would ensure that both first responders and critical incident stress management service providers have open lines of communication when handling these sensitive situations.

“Public safety personnel can face challenges caused by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, similar to military personnel, after distressing events,” Wesco said. “By making sure these men and women have confidentiality, first responders would be able to openly talk with a service provider and receive the help they may need.”

Stress management service providers would also be protected under this bill from being subpoenaed to testify on what a first responder discloses during counseling sessions. It would also provide appropriate civil immunity for these providers.

House Enrolled Act 1122 now moves to the governor’s desk for consideration. For more information, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Tim Wesco (R-Osceola) represents House District 21, which includes portions of Elkhart and St. Joseph counties.

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