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October 27, 2017 6:41 pm

NDP Push Amendment to Workers Compensation Act

Thursday, March 2, 2017 @ 11:57 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The Provincial New Democrats have introduced legislation  in Victoria  aimed at  assisting  first responders who suffer from  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The  legislation, introduced by  the NDP’s  labour  critic Shane Simpson, would ensure that first responders who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are presumed to have suffered the injury due to their work.

The  amendment to the Workers’ Compensation  Act would cover police, firefighters, ambulance paramedics, sheriffs, corrections officers and 911 dispatchers.

“We know that first responders suffer from PTSD at a rate that is double that of the general population,” said Simpson. “Sadly, we also know that this too often has led to suicide. In 2016, 63 first responders took their lives in Canada. 19 of those were in British Columbia.

“First responders provide a critical service to all British Columbians. More often than not, they are dealing with traumatic situations, crisis and too often fatalities. This has been exacerbated in recent times by the opioid overdose crisis. These workers face circumstances in their work every day that most of us cannot even imagine. The cumulative impacts on these workers is significant. PTSD is not usually a single incident as it is the buildup over time of facing these very difficult situations.”

The NDP says  the current system  at WorkSafe BC results in  too many PTSD claims being either denied or  taking  too long  for the  claimant to receive the help they need.  This legislation would make it  clear that once a first responder is diagnosed with a PTSD injury they would be deemed to have suffered the situation on the job and will have their claim accepted.

With the   Provincial election scheduled to be called April 11th,   it is unlikely this legislation will  get any traction.


Was the first on the scene of a single vehicle accident a while back, quickly assessed the scene, there were three people in that vehicle. One look at the driver and I knew he was dead, male passenger in the back seat had a fractured forearm, was conscious and alert, the female passenger did not appear to have that much blunt force trauma, but was cyanotic, quick check of her pulse and breathing of which both were absent, commenced CPR.

Others were arriving on the scene so I had help with the CPR from another guy. After about 60 seconds we got her breathing again, but what was really annoying – disturbing was the guy with the broken arm screaming that whole time for his friend (the driver) to wake up. Never slept a wink that first night, too much adrenaline in my system, and the flash backs when I closed my eyes, can’t imagine Paramedics and First Responders having to see, hear, and go through that on a regular basis as part of their job.

Good on the NDP for “BeingHuman” and attempting to enact legislation that will protect and assist our First Responders affected by PTSD.

    Weird, I read through my comment after posting, and it says; “from another guy”, huh, I must have been a guy back then. Oh well, the rest of the story is completely true.

      I think, “from another guy says it all.

You’ve got me thinking. I’ve done stuff like that in first responder roles about a half dozen times, and the night of the incident – sure, sleep was difficult, but after that, it’s never bothered me.

Which makes me wonder if there’s some way of determining who is susceptible to PTSD and whose not – before they take the job.

Clearly I lack empathy toward strangers. Is there a test for that? Because if there is, it should be used to screen first responders.

On a different topic, jurors, who are picked at random, and who under penalty of law if they don’t serve, are shown the most horrific photos, witness evidence of brutal crimes, and there is zero help for them. They too suffer PTSD, so maybe they could be added to the list – after all, they are “working” for the government when they are subjected to it.

    Good point, to also include jurors!

    They’ve tried that with different Psych tests, unfortunately people respond differently in critical incident testing vis a vis real incident. There are some basic criteria that can be tested but it’s a tough one. We can go through 10 critical incident scenarios and be great at it, then fold in the real one.
    One person can gut and butcher a moose, the next faints at the sight of blood.

Wonder if Corrections is included, riots, stabbings, hangings, fights, etc., but because they aren’t ‘out there’ they are usually ignored when in fact they are integral to society. It really burns me that everybody else is recognized and this profession is not in the back seat but in the trunk! I have seen some horrific things but figured all was cool, but I sometimes wonder! Type A, short tempered, hate at least 50% of the human race, irritable, back against the wall in public establishments, always watching people, exits, etc. Black humor is a goody!

    Black Humor is gold, keeps up stable.

Thanks to Mr. Simpson, it is past time that PTSD is given attention by governments. There is a good video here:

Also, a B.C. man, Mr. Terence Kosikar, is leading the charge for greater PTSD awareness with his campaign itsnotweaktospeak.com
Find him on facebook also.

Perfect everyone can be off with PTSD. Vote ndp and no one has to work ..just like Alberta. Rob Peter and Paul.

    Please explain what the NDP in Alberta has done to create a no one has to work situation.

With the election slated for May 9th one can see where this legislation is coming from.

There are many people who suffer from PTSD in Canada, and they are not first responders.

To give you some idea. Those at risk for developing PTSD include.

Anyone who has been victimized or has witnessed a violent act, or who has been repeatedly exposed to lif-threatening situation. This includes survivors of:

: Domestic or intimate partner violence
: Rape or sexual assault or abuse
: Physical assault such as mugging or carjacking
: Other random acts of violence such as those that take place in public, in schools, or in the workplace.
: Children who are neglected or sexually, pysically, or verbally abused, or adults who were abused as children.

Survivors of unexpected events in everyday life such as.

: Car accidents or fires.
: Natural disasters, such as tornadoes or earthquakes.
: Major catastrophic events such as a plance crash or a terrorist act.
: Disasters caused by human error, such as industrial accidents.

: Combat veterans or civilian victims of war
: Those diagnosed with a life-threatening illness or who have undergone invasive medical procedures.

: Professionals who respond to victims in trauma situations, such as emergency medical service workers, police, firefighters, military, and search and rescue workers.
: People who learn of the sudden unexpected death of a close friend or relative.

So we should not be cherry picking who should get special treatment from WorkSafe BC. as everyone in the Country is effected to some extent.

    Yours is a good list of PTSD victims, however the first half of your list truly are “victims” and for them there is separate “Victim Assistance” funding and services available. The later half of your list are the ones that do not have the supports because it is part of their jobs, and therefore they are not classified with the victims they help.

    I believe there is a gap in mental health supports and services for these professionals, it shows in their higher rates of suicide. Every now and then I think about the Greyhound Bus beheading, and the rookie RCMP officer who witnessed it, he carrying around that baggage in his head until he recently killed himself. Army vets the same thing.

    I think ski51 is onto something where they should do some kind of personality test on First Responder candidates to make sure the are mentally and personally suitable for the jobs they are applying for… same with the military, IMO.

what about nurses in emergency they deal with it everyday not once a month or more paid half the money need 4 years of training

I pay too much in taxes, it’s keeping me up at night. Must be PTSD.

    Actually could be, stress causes PTSD

Amendment should cover all workers should it not?

If you look at the overall suicides in Canada you would see that there were 3005 in 2016. Which would include the first responders.

You cannot just assume that because a first responder committed suicide it was a result of PTSD, it could be the result of any number of things.

Some people think that this is quite hilarious and are mixing it with politics! If you haven’t been there you should keep it to yourself! I have a few friends in law enforcement still, army buddies that have been diagnosed with PTSD. Not a kool thing. Politics unfortunately have to be used to get it recognized, but unfortunately those incompetent nimrods in gov’t can ruin a good thing. Just my opinion, some people will try and abuse this and go this route. To those I say, “go and dodge traffic during rush hour.” Aaaaah, I feel better now.

Worker Compensation is insurance for employers, all workers should be covered and would. However this Government has turned the WCB into a regular insurance company were if your sick or injured good luck getting help, it has to change.

I support the support… I just wonder if everyone else would support it as much if it was a Liberal motion and not an NDP motion. Wouldn’t everyone be criticizing them for simply trying to get votes so close to an election?

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