TRENTON – The Senate Law and Public Safety Committee voted unanimously this afternoon to release bill S787, which would establish the New Jersey Fire and EMS Crisis Intervention Services telephone hotline.
The hotline would be accessible 24 hours a day for fire and emergency workers to call for help in cases of anxiety and depression, along with other psychological disorders.
The hotline would be operated with the help of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the Department of Community Affairs. The hotline was discontinued some two years ago due to budget cuts. The bill released on Monday will now go to the Budget Committee.
The Professional Firefighters Association and the Fraternal Order of Police support the bill.
The two organizations also supported bill S1802. Sponsored by Sen. Donald Norcross, the bill would enable the state to make financial contributions toward the funeral expenses of police officers, firefighters, sheriff’s officers and corrections officers killed in the line of duty.
Norcross said the bill will help defray the costs.
“Hopefully, we’ll never use it,” he said.