A Senator in Montana has introduced legislation that would allow a federal wildland firefighter who was injured and disabled on the job to retain the 20-year firefighter retirement track if they return to work in a non-fire position, rather than converting to the 30-year retirement program of ordinary federal employees.
U.S. Senator Steve Daines’ legislation would also allow the injured firefighter’s history of overtime pay to be considered as income for purposes of calculating worker’s compensation disability benefits.
Govtrack.us estimates that the bill has a 1 percent chance of being enacted, so it will take some serious grass roots efforts to ensure that it passes.
Senator Daines’ website has a page devoted to the legislation which has opinions about the bill from two firefighters, as well as Vicki Minor of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, and Casey Judd of the Federal Wildland Fire Service Association.
The bill is titled “S. 3544 — 114th Congress: Wildland Firefighter Retirement and Disability Compensation Benefits Act of 2016”. It can be tracked at Congress.gov.