Koch: Firefighter Safety Legislation Signed Into Law

(STATEHOUSE) — A bill authored by State Sen. Eric Koch (R-Bedford) that improves Hoosier firefighters’ health and safety recently was signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

State Sen. Eric Koch (R-Bedford)

Senate Enrolled Act 258 requires the Board of Firefighting Personnel Standards and Education to establish best practices to improve safety and health outcomes for firefighters. In recognition of the safer work environments created by adoption of the best practices, SEA 258 also authorizes the Worker’s Compensation Rating Bureau to provide a premium or rate discount on worker’s compensation insurance to political subdivisions and volunteer fire departments that implement the best practices.

Additionally, SEA 258 creates the Best Practices Fund for the purpose of providing matching grants to political subdivisions and volunteer fire department to purchase equipment and other gear so they may implement the best practices.

The Indiana Fire Chiefs Association, the Professional Firefighters Union of Indiana, and the Indiana Volunteer Firefighters Association all testified in support of SEA 258.

With the governor’s signature, SEA 258 will go into effect July 1.

For more information on Senate Enrolled Act 258, visit https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/bills/Senate/258

Sen. Koch, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, serves Senate District 44, which includes all or parts of Bartholomew, Brown, Jackson, Lawrence and Monroe counties.