Young bill to protect firefighters from being interfered with on the job unanimously passes committee

A bill that would make it a crime to interfere with firefighters and emergency workers while in the line of duty has taken the first step to becoming law.

House Bill 1826, sponsored by Rep. Jesse Young, would make it illegal to knowingly interfere with a firefighter or emergency medical worker to intentionally prevent, or attempt to prevent, that firefighter or emergency medical worker from performing his or her official duties.

“I have the deepest respect for firefighters and other first responders and the lifesaving services they provide,” said Young, R-Gig Harbor. “Anyone who is willing to risk their own safety to help others deserves to be supported and protected while they perform these critical duties and save people's lives.”

The House Public Safety Committee unanimously voted to pass the legislation Thursday. The bill would make it a gross misdemeanor to interfere with emergency medical services providers, which includes emergency medical technicians and first responders, who are defined in statute as persons authorized by the Department of Health to render emergency medical care.

A firefighter is defined as any paid or volunteer firefighter or other employee of a fire department, county fire marshal's office, county fire prevention bureau, or fire protection district.

“We already have similar laws in place that protect government operations and law enforcement officers,” added Young. “It makes sense to give this same kind of protection to our first responders to ensure they can safely serve the public they work so hard to assist.”

House Bill 1826 now awaits a vote by the full House of Representatives.

The 2022 legislative session began Jan. 10 and is scheduled to run 60 consecutive days.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov