Photo of Senator Kushner.

State Senator

Julie Kushner

Representing Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, Sherman

Senator Kushner Named 'Legislator of the Year' By Connecticut EMS Advisory Board


This week, State Senator Julie Kushner (D-Danbury) was named "Legislator of the Year" by the Connecticut EMS Advisory Board's Council of Regional Presidents at its 2021 CT EMS Awards, awarded at Foxwoods Resort & Casino Wednesday evening. Sen. Kushner, who is Senate Chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee, has fought tirelessly to support first responders across the state in her time in office. Among her accomplishments was legislation she introduced to provide EMS professionals with access to post-traumatic stress injury treatment through worker's compensation programs, fulfilling a promise she made when similar legislation supporting fire and police professionals was passed in 2019.

"It's an honor to receive this award from the Connecticut EMS Council, on behalf of the 22,000 emergency medical services personnel who just last year responded to 779,000 calls," said Sen. Kushner. "This year, I led my colleagues in passing legislation providing EMSs and paramedics with access to treatment for post-traumatic stress injury through workers' compensation. These brave essential workers proved during the pandemic that they were willing to put themselves at risk to keep the rest of us safe during the height of the pandemic. The long-term effects of PTSI can be incredibly damaging, and it's vitally important that those in need have access to care."

In 2019, when legislation was passed that provided PTSI care to firefighters and police officers, critics noted that other positions, like emergency service workers, were not included in that coverage. In response, Sen. Kushner announced she would fight for them to receive those benefits. While initially-proposed legislation in 2020 did not move forward due to the COVID-19 pandemic's cancellation of the legislative session, the legislation was again introduced in 2021 and passed the Labor and Public Employees Committee, and was passed on the Senate floor with Sen. Kushner introducing it. 911 dispatchers, corrections officers and health care workers impacted by COVID-19 were also covered by the legislation.