Compensation claim for first responders’ families explained

Nebraska Legislature LB717
Senator Adam Morfeld introduced LB717, which increased the compensation claim for first responders' families who die in the line of duty.
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 8:20 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - A few weeks ago, Governor Pete Ricketts signed off on LB717, which increased the compensation claim for public safety officers who die in the line of duty. LB717 outlines firefighters, law enforcement officers, members of medical services ambulance teams, and correctional officers as public safety officials. The bill intends to recognize the ultimate sacrifice.

“I felt that $50,000 wasn’t nearly enough to make sure a family is taken care of if the worse thing happens with the death of a love one,” said Senator Adam Morfeld, who introduced LB717.  “We need to compensate those families and recognize their loved one’s service.”

LB717 defines a firefighter as “a member of a paid or volunteer fire department in Nebraska, including a member of a rescue squad associated with a paid or volunteer fire department.”

The family of the former Cambridge fire chief John P. Trumble says he died doing what he loved, which was helping others. Trumble lost his life helping evacuate families during the road 702 wildfire.

“I was incredibly sad to hear about Mr. Trumble and extend my sincerest condolences to his family,” said Sen. Morfeld. “No amount of money is going to replace their love one.”

LB717 will go into effect in three months. It is unclear if Trumbles’ family is eligible for that compensation.

“It is up to the state claims board and attorneys’ interpretation of LB717,” said Sen. Morfeld. “I hope the family files the claim and speaks to the claims board after the law comes into effect. I hope they can receive the full benefit. I hope things like this don’t happen in the future, and the state does something to help the family as much as possible.”

First, the beneficiary for the deceased first responder must file a line of duty compensation act claim. From there, the claim will be sent to the state claims board for review and then passed to the legislature to be approved or denied.

At this time, the family has not filed for the line of duty compensation act claim. This is a developing story.

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