Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08) was pleased to announce that public safety officers are one step closer to ensuring their families are protected should the unthinkable occur while protecting our communities.
Today, the House of Representatives passed the "Daniel McIntosh" Public Safety Officers Benefits bill (H.R. 4018) authored by Congressman Fitzpatrick which would extend Public Safety Officer Benefits (PSOB) to the families of emergency service personnel who die in the line of duty in service to a non-profit organization. Current federal law limits these benefits only to emergency service personnel employed by governmental units.
"Emergency service personnel encounter potentially dangerous situations every time they answer a call. Their selfless devotion serving their community keeps our neighborhoods safe and protected," said Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, "It is paramount we afford them the peace of mind that their families will not be financially burdened should the unthinkable occur. "
In March of 2010, Bensalem Paramedic Daniel McIntosh responded to a 911 call where a dangerous caller fled the scene to potentially harm their neighbors. In recognizing the danger the caller posed, Danny Mac tried to chase him down. In the process, McIntosh suffered a massive heart attack and died in the line of duty. This husband and father of two young daughters was only 39 years old.
Unfortunately, because of a tragic oversight in the laws governing the program, Danny Mac's family was denied the death benefit they deserve because he was serving on an ambulance run by a non-profit, not a municipality.
"I introduced the Danny McIntosh Act to correct this oversight," said Fitzpatrick, "Not only does this bill right a wrong, but, it will even save tax dollars by securing the well-being of the program in a fiscally responsible manner."
A Hulmeville Borough police officer, Danny McIntosh was a thirteen year veteran of the Bensalem Emergency Medical Services. He was a volunteer firefighter for the Point Pleasant Fire Company and had achieved Life Member status. He was a member of the Nottingham Fire Department, a Medic for the Bucks County Southern SWAT Team and the Bucks County Hazardous Material SWAT Team.
"Danny loved every aspect of his job. This legislation is an honor to his service and dedication as an emergency responder. It is a bill he would have supported if he was alive today and it will help not just our family but those of other fallen first responders nationwide," said Bethann McIntosh, widow to Daniel McIntosh, "I would like to thank Congressman Fitzpatrick and his dedicated staff for their continued support to my daughters and I."
"I urge the Senate to join me in this effort to protect those who protect our communities," closed Fitzpatrick, "not only can we do right by our first responders, but we can make the Public Safety Officers Benefit program solvent in the long term."
In order to promote long-term financial stability of the PSOB program, Fitzpatrick's legislation streamlines the administration of the program to ensure that money goes to beneficiaries and not bureaucrats. It also clarifies how the benefits are distributed and claims are processed to minimize lengthy and costly litigation.