Firefighter support group bill heads to governor

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A bill that would establish peer support groups for active, volunteer and retired firefighters is heading to the governor’s desk after passing the House and Senate unanimously.

House Bill 273 would establish the Alan “Chip” Terry Professional Development and Wellness Program.

Alan “Chip” Terry was a Covington firefighter who committed suicide in 2017. He retired in 2012 and suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“What people don’t see at three o’clock in the morning is when, when a young lieutenant has to put two toddlers and their grandmother in a body bag,” Terry said during an emotional retirement speech at a Covington City Commission meeting in 2012.

Veteran Lexington firefighter Chris “Blue” Bartley believes the bill could help firefighters with PTSD.

“It definitely could save lives. Peer support has proven to be the thing that gets them the help they need. They want to listen to other firefighters and that’s kind of what this does,” said Bartley, President of Lexington Professional Firefighters.

Once signed, HB 273 immediately becomes law, since it has an emergency clause.

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