Rep. Chris Corry’s bill to help emergency dispatch operators suffering from PTSD unanimously approved by House

The House of Representatives unanimously approved Rep. Chris Corry’s bill that seeks to help emergency dispatch operators suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The measure would allow 911 emergency dispatch personnel, diagnosed with PTSD as a result of their work, to apply for workers’ compensation.

“Car crashes, suicide, homicide and domestic violence are the stuff of nightmares for most people. But, for a 911 operator—it’s all in a day’s work,” said Corry, R-Yakima.

PTSD is commonly associated with combat veterans, police officers, and other emergency personnel. It occurs after exposure to a single or repeated traumatic event.

“Being a 911 dispatcher is a stressful occupation. Repeated exposure to life and death situations can cause PTSD, a very debilitating condition,” continued Corry. “My bill makes a simple change that allows them to receive the same help other first responders can, like police or firefighters.”

Under the state’s industrial insurance laws, workers who suffer a disability or injury in the course of their employment are entitled to certain benefits. Rules excluding claims based on mental conditions or mental disabilities, like PTSD, do not apply to law enforcement officers or firefighters. Corry’s law extends that exemption to include 911 dispatch personnel.

“It’s only common sense to conclude there could be adverse mental health problems that arise from working as a 911 operator. This will get our first responders the help they need so they can continue serving our community,” concluded Corry.

House Bill 2758 now heads to the Senate for further consideration. 

The 60-day legislative session is scheduled to adjourn March 12.


Washington State House Republican Communications