Legislation Introduced To Recognize Junior Firefighters Killed In The Line Of Duty

Washington, D.C. � Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA) has introduced bipartisan legislation recognizing that Junior Firefighters, killed in the line of duty, are afforded the same Public Safety Officers Benefits (PSOB) available to all firefighters. Christopher Kangas, a 14 year-old junior firefighter with the Brookhaven Fire Department died three years ago while responding to a fire. His family, the Brookhaven Department and firefighters across the country all suffered another devastating blow when the Department of Justice denounced full firefighter status to Christopher.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Borough of Brookhaven awarded the Kangas family public safety officer benefits, recognizing his death occurred in the line of duty as a member of the fire department. Since Congress passed the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Act in 1977, it has provided benefits to any firefighter serving as an officially recognized member of a legally organized fire department.

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