Wesco works to increase firefighter safety

Posted by: Devan Strebing & Shelby Seay  | Tuesday, January 17, 2017 4:30 pm

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 17, 2017) — The House Committee on Veterans Affairs and Public Safety today passed a bill authored by State Rep. Tim Wesco (R-Osceola) that would ensure first responders who seek psychological help after a traumatic event are granted confidentiality.

House Bill 1122 would also protect service providers from being called forward to testify on what first responders disclose when seeking help.

“Our first responders need to feel confident that they can seek the help they may need without having to worry about confidentiality,” Wesco said. “This law would ensure these men and women will be able to speak openly to a stress management service provider.”

Next week, the committee is expected to consider another proposal by Wesco that would require building permits to note if engineered lumber will be used in the construction process. Engineered lumber is a man-made board material that contains wood products that burn more rapidly than traditional lumber.

“Firefighters face new challenges when handling emergencies in buildings that use engineered lumber,” Wesco said. “This type of lumber, while offering many building advantages, is an increased threat to firefighters when used for structural support. Under House Bill 1124, fire departments would have access to a list of buildings containing man-made lumber. This is life-saving information for responders.”

For more information on Wesco’s bills, visit iga.in.gov.


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.