This week, the Professional Fire Fighters Union of Indiana and the Indiana Fraternal Order of Police leadership communicated with Governor Holcomb’s staff on behalf of our collective memberships and Indiana First Responders. Our joint request to staff requested the Governor take executive action on four (4) important issues in order to assist our state’s first responders during their response to COVID-19. The requests for executive action are as follows:
Explicitly ensure public safety officers’ coverage for COVID-19 illness, quarantine, isolation, and treatment under Indiana’s Worker’s Compensation statutes, including “hurt on duty” statutes, health care indemnity and wage indemnity.
This shall include employer’s that indemnify with Worker’s Compensation or that choose no indemnity.
Explicitly ensure immediate notification for public safety officers by health care providers and/or public health authorities of the COVID-19 status of a patient treated or in contact with public safety officers. It is understood and accepted that the current federal law contained in the Ryan White Act does apply to COVID-19.
The IAFF has worked with federal authorities to include COVID-19 in the Ryan White Act. Attached is a fillable letter for a public safety officer to complete and forward to his/her Department Medical Officer should a medical facility or authority need the request in writing. Attached is a letter of guidance on disclosure information for public safety officers from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Ensure an exemption from National Guard Active Duty Status for all public safety officers in the event of a National Guard call-up in response to the COVID-19 emergency.
Ensure public safety officers have immediate and orderly access to and distribution of essential personal protective equipment to protect public safety officers against COVID-19 transmission as outlined by public health authorities (ISDH, CDC, WHO).
We continue to monitor expansion and implementation of the following throughout the state:
Ensure public safety officers have priority access to COVID-19 testing when needed.
IDHS is providing resources on their website http://www.in.gov/dhs/. Attached is guidance from IDHS.
IAFF continues to have fluid information and resources on COVID-19 https://www.iaff.org/coronavirus/.
We will update you as additional information is made available concerning the requests for action outlined above. Our associations are in contact with the governor’s office, the Indiana COVID-19 Task Force, and IDHS Director Cox.
Tom Hanify Michael Pinkham Mike Whited
President Secretary-Treasurer Vice-President
PFFUI and FOP COVID-19 Letter
Ryan White Act COVID-19 Form Letter
Indiana Dept. of Homeland Security COVID-19 Exposure Guidance
Health and Human Services COVID-19 Notice