Justice for our First Responders

What We're Up Against

The people risking the most should not be treated the worst.

This is especially true of our first responders: our firefighters, emergency medical services, and police officers.

One volunteer firefighter told us: “If you dropped with a heart attack right here, it would take 45 minutes to get you an ambulance… and we’re sitting in a fire department.” Volunteer firefighters put their lives on the line every day in West Virginia, saving government billions of dollars in wages and benefits. And every year, the Good Old Boys in state government makes them beg for crumbs.

We will have a state where the people who risk the most are treated the best. That starts with providing first responders with the resources they need to protect the rest of us. 

Our Plan

  • Pay for workers compensation insurance for volunteer first-responders
  • Provide a $1000/year stipend for all volunteer firefighters and EMS workers who reach a threshold level of service each year. 
  • Restore the full firefighters pension for paid firefighters. Firefighters should also be granted a generous term life insurance plan, to protect their families.
  • Seek federal grants and partnerships with health providers to guarantee mental health services for all first-responders, based on the Huntington, West Virginia model.
  • Pass a $15 minimum wage to help alleviate the financial burden of our paid first responders. Our state has the 6th lowest pay rate in the nation.
  • Empower a committee of first responders to re-write the state training requirements.
  • Train all volunteer firefighters and state police in the use of Naloxone.
  • Make sure that first responders are represented at every level of government. We need first responders helping to drive policy as it relates to the opioid epidemic, roads, cell towers, and more.

No one politician or slate of candidates can win this plan alone. We need you.

If you have an idea for how to make this plan stronger, or if you would like to lend a hand to win it, contact our co-chair Stephen Smith at stephen@wvcantwait.com.

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Join the Movement

It will take 1,000 leaders not 1 to win a West Virginia that works for all of us. That means we need you!