TPFFA
Tennessee Professional Fire Fighters Association
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  • 2018 Candidate Questionnaire

    2018 Tennessee Professional Fire Fighters Association (TPFFA) Questionnaire for State Offices

    If you would like to print the questionnaire please click here and mail to:

    Tennessee Professional Fire Fighters Assocation
    3441 Lakebrook Drive
    Murfreesboro, TN  37130

    Candidate Name:
    TN Office Sought: Senate Dristrict   House District 
    Party Affiliation:
    Are you an Incumbent: Yes    No 
    Campaign Address:
    Campaign Phone No:
    Campaign Web Address:
    Campaign Manager:
    Campaign Manger Phone:
    Campaing Manger Email:
    Do you have Primary Election oppostition? Yes     No 
    If yes, Primary Election opponent's name(s)
    Do you have General Election opposition? Yes     No 
    If yes, General Election opponent's name and party affiliation.
    Please specify any other groups that have endorsed your campaign this year or in the past. (If past elections, please specify)
    Have you ever run for or held elective office? Yes     No 
    If yes, what office(s) did you run for and when? Include office and dates held or year ran.
    Have you received the endorsement from any TPFFA or International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) locals for your current campaign? Yes     No 
    If yes, please let which TPFFA/IAFF local(s)
    Please list any civic groups or professional organizations you belong to:

    Public Policy Issues Questions

    1. Flame Retardants

    Issue Explanation:

    Due to a relatively obscure California flammability standard, toxic chemicals were added to most foam bearing products, such as furniture and children's products in the U.S. to act as flame-retardants. This widespead use in practically every home across the country causes toxic flame-retardants to now be found in wildlife, lakes and streams, and nearly every American's body. These chemicals can contribute to cancer, infertility, obesity, lowered IQ, learning problems, and other diseases and disorders in animals and humans.

    These toxic chemiclas nigrate out of our products into house dust and indoor air, and subsequently, into people. Young children, who increase their exposure through crawling and putting things in their mouths, have much higher levels in their bodies than adults. Firefighters, who already suffer from higher rates of cancer, have additional occupational exposure when these toxic chemicals burn.

    A growing number of states have taken action to phase out these toxic flame-retardants, such as, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Maine, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

    Policy Question:

    Would you support phasing out these toxic chemicals from products made or sold in Tennessee?

    Yes     No 
    Comments:

    2. Fire Fighter Cancer Presumption Laws

    Issue Explanation:

    Credible studies have concluded that firefighters have a significantly higher chance of developing certain cancers than the general public. At least thirty-six states have expanded access to workers' compensation or other disability-related benefits for firefighters who have certain cancers by statutorily creating a disability presumption for firefighters who contract certain types of cancer while performing his or her firefighting duties. In states with these laws, when a firefighter applies for workers' compensation or other benefits related to their cancer, the firefighter is presumed to be eligible for benefits unless the employer proves that the firefighter's cancer was not caused by his or her firefighting duties. Currently in Tennessee, without the presumption, a firefighter must first prove that his or her cancer was caused by their firefighting duties before receiving benefits.

    Policy Question:

    Would you support this disability benefit for all professional firefighters in Tennessee?

    Yes     No 
    Comments:

    3. Fire Fighter Training Pay Incentive

    Issue Explanation:

    In 1975, Tennessee passed legislation allowing professional firefighters to recieve a yearly training supplement pay of up to $600 per year after completing 40 hours of annual training established by the Tennessee Fire Training and Codes Commission. The intent of this program was to encourage all firefighters to educate themselves through approved standardized training above the training that might be required by their department.

    This training pay is funded by an earmarked tax attached to property insurance. However, the proceeds of this tax go into the State of Tennessee's general fund in an amount that far exceeds the amount paid out to the firefighters for their training. The pay supplement has never been raised above the $600 yearly amount, although the training required to be a firefighter now is much more complicated and intense than when this program was established in 1975. Other states provide yearly training supplements into the thousands of dollars annually.

    Policy Question:

    Would you support legilation to increase the Professional Fire Fighters Training Pay supplement to a level more comparable to firefighter training supplements in surrounding states but does not exceed the amount collected by the earmarked tax?

    Yes     No 
    Comments:

    4. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Coverage For First Responders

    Issue Explanation:

    Tennessee, along with other states, has recognized that a career in firefighting, emergency medical service (EMS), and law enforcement have adverse effects of the behavioral and mental health of first responders. Studies have shown that one in five firefighters suffer from occupational Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during their career and that firefighters with PTSD are six times more likely to attempt suicide. Firefighters, EMS personnel, and law enforcement are faced with horrific situations on an almost daily basis responding emergency scenes.

    The cumulative effects of working these traumatic call can have a devastating mental effect on these first responders. For some first responders it can be one particular incident that triggers porblems and for others it is the accumulation of years of horrific calls that finally overwhelms then. Either way, PTSD is a manageable disease given the early intervention by professionals trained to help. Currently in Tennessee, a first responder can only claim PTSD as an "occupational injury" if is is associated with a physical injury to the first reponder, or if it can be pinpointed to one specific incident. The state does not recognize the cumulative effects of emergency reponse as related to PTDS as an occupational injury.

    Policy Question:

    Would you support legislation to recognize cummulative PTSD for firefighters, EMS personnel, and law enforcement through the state workers compensation plan and any local municipality "on the job injury" benefit plan?

    Yes     No 
    Comments:

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