A number of legislative efforts over the last year have focused on making it simply for first responders grappling with PTSD to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is probably best recognized as a condition afflicting combat soldiers. In those instances, the development of the condition typically arises from a singular incident or a brief exposure to trauma. First responders, meanwhile, typically incur what’s called cumulative PTSD, meaning it builds up over the course of many years. It’s a disorder characterized by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. But for police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics, PTSD can develop over decades of work-related stress.