IAFC: DOJ Dragging Feet on 'Hometown Heroes' Act Benefits

Politicians, officials from major national fire and police organizations, and others are holding a press conference July 11 in Washington, D.C., to examine why only six families have received any benefits from the Hometown Heroes Survivors Benefits Act (P.L. 108-182), which Congress unanimously passed in 2003. The act is designed to give survivors' benefits to the families of fallen public safety officers who suffer a fatal heart attack or stroke in the line of duty or up to 24 hours after a "non-routine stressful or strenuous" line-of-duty activity or training event.

Today, almost four years after the enthusiastic passage of this act, 198 families of fallen public safety officers are still waiting to hear from the Department of Justice about their claims. Forty-eight families have been turned down, and only six families have received any benefits from this program, according to the Fairfax, Va.-based International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC).

IAFC President Jim Harmes will be accompanied by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Representative Bob Etheridge (D-NC), three surviving firefighter family members, and other officials for the press conference--scheduled for 12:30 p.m. EST in Room 628 of the U.S. Senate, Dirksen Bldg.--to urge Congress to examine the implementation of the DOJ program.

According to IAFC, public safety groups have held "countless meetings" with DOJ and Bush administration officials, urging that qualifying families be granted their benefits as directed by President Bush and Congress. In addition, a bipartisan group of 101 senators and representatives sent President Bush a letter on June 7 expressing concern over the delays and the deviation from congressional intent.

For more information about the press conference, contact Jennifer Ashley, IAFC director of communications, at 571-221-5268.

Download Center

  • EHS Buyer's Guide

    Download this buyer's guide to make more informed decisions as you're looking for an EHS management software system for your organization.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2021

    September 2021

    Featuring:

    • COMBUSTIBLE DUST
      Managing Combustible Dust and Risk Mitigation
    • PPE: CONSTRUCTION
      The Rising Popularity of Safety Helmets on the Jobsite
    • PPE: ELECTRICAL SAFETY
      Five Tips for a Successful Wear Trial
    • SAFETY & HEALTH
      Medical Surveillance Versus Medical Screening
    View This Issue