DiGirolamo Bill Passed to Allow CERT Volunteers to be Added Worker's Compensation Law
Legislation that would allow certain first responders to be covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act today passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, according to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks).
“Volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance company members are required to be covered by the state’s workers' compensation law, and consequently, government entities should be allowed the option of covering Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members in their workers' compensation policies," said DiGirolamo. “In the event one of these volunteers is injured while answering an emergency call, they should be allowed to be covered by the same law as other first responders."
CERT training includes disaster preparedness, disaster fire suppression, basic disaster medical operations, and light search and rescue operations. The creation of a CERT program is strictly left to local discretion and is not a federal mandate.
Specifically, House Bill 292 adds CERT members to the list of volunteer services covered by the Workers' Compensation Act. To be included, members must have completed the CERT training program as outlined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This legislation solely allows government entities to allow CERT volunteers to be added to workers' compensation policies and does not require them to do so.
DiGirolamo said that if a government entity adds CERT members to its workers’ compensation policy, team members would be covered by the act if they were authorized in writing by a county or municipality to assist first responders or if they are properly dispatched by the municipality to assist first responders in a state or federally declared emergency.
The legislation now moves to the state Senate for consideration.
Rep. Gene DiGirolamo
18th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(215) 750-1017
(717) 783-7319
Contact: Jennifer Algoe Keaton
(717) 705-2094
Member site: GeneDigirolamo.com
Caucus site: PAHouseGOP.com