Fallen Firefighter’s Mother Seeks Death Benefits from Prescott (AZ)

UPDATE 8/6/13: Juliann Ashcraft, 28, whose husband, Andrew, was among the Granite Mountain Hotshots members killed during the June 30 blaze, was told she is not entitled to salary and health benefits because her husband was a seasonal employee, reports The New York Daily News (http://nydn.us/1b9oiwe).

Original Story: The mother of one of 19 firefighters killed in an Arizona wildfire wants the city of Prescott to provide family survivor benefits reserved for fulltime employees, reports The Associated Press.

Deborah Pfingston’s 29-year-old son, Andrew Ashcraft, died June 30 with 18 other members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots while working a wildfire around Yarnell. An investigation is ongoing.

Pfingston says city officials promised they would retroactively reclassify the seasonal, temporary employees as permanent so the families could receive additional survivor benefits.

City officials, meanwhile, say they cannot legally posthumously reclassify the men as fulltime employees so their families can receive additional benefits, including health insurance.

City spokesman Pete Wertheim says six of the firefighters were permanent employees, while 13, including Ashcraft, were seasonal.

Read more of the story here http://abcn.ws/13Bg9Pl

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