My friend is a first responder for the federal government, on call to go anywhere in the country when there's a disaster. Over the years I've seen her drop everything at a moment's notice to help Americans survive extreme catastrophes.
I was stunned when she told me that she had no health benefits because the government considers people with her job -- like responders to Hurricane Sandy -- to be part-time, even though she will have served 305 days of disaster recovery work by the end of the year.
This isn't right. I started a petition on Change.org asking the federal government to give health care to all government disaster workers immediately. Click here to sign.
Right now, there are government workers restoring power to neighborhoods, pulling bodies from wreckage, and delivering fresh water to the tens of thousands of Hurricane Sandy victims. Disaster workers risk their lives every time they are called into duty during natural disasters -- many without health care.
My friend was one of the first on the scene when a tornado ravaged Joplin, Missouri, and has shared devastating stories about the destruction left behind from Hurricane Isaac. She says that the demand for trained disaster assistance employees is greater than the availability, and they work long hours in the most dangerous of conditions.
I saw a seasonal firefighter win health care for all wildland firefighters this summer with a petition on Change.org. I believe the government can do the same for disaster workers who also put themselves in harm's' way to help.
Click here now to sign my petition asking FEMA to provide health coverage for all government disaster employees.
Thank you for your support.
Friend of a DAE worker
Apex, North Carolina