information provided by the Office of Robin Kelly
MATTESON, Ill. (April 11, 2020) – On April 9, Congresswoman Robin Kelly hosted a telephone conference call with municipal first responders from the 2nd Congressional District to hear their needs and concerns during the COVID10 crisis and discuss how Congress can support first responders in the immediate, short- and long-terms.
During the call, Congresswoman Kelly shared that she had recently sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi advocating for first responder access to additional personal protective equipment (PPE), hazard pay, paid sick leave, and the Public Safety Office Benefit (PSOB) program. She and the first responders, along with leaders who represent them, also discussed the mental health impacts of this crisis on first responders. Congresswoman Kelly is the author of the First Responder Resiliency Act (H.R. 6003) which would reduce barriers for departments seeking to access federal resources for job-related mental health programs.
Furthermore, a number of first responders raised concern about ineffective and incomplete communication from local officials, especially temporary housing for first responders who personally risk exposure and infection on the job but cannot or do not want to risk infecting their loved ones based on their exposure. Congresswoman Kelly pledged to reach out to local officials.
This call was the seventh in the Congresswoman’s COVID19 Response series discussing existing legislation and collecting ideas for future measures. Kelly is planning to include local farmers and agricultural workers in an April 14 call, and superintendents in an April 16 call.