Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Burke, Quinn, Tabares, O'Shea, Curtis Want 'Line of Duty' Designation for COVID-19 Fallen First Responders

Five Southwest Side aldermen are joining forces to push a proposed ordinance designed to make certain that first responders who pass away from COVID-19 will be considered as fallen in the line of duty.

The aldermen are Edward M. Burke (14th), Marty Quinn
Ald. Edward M. Burke
(13th), Silvana Tabares (23rd), Matt O'Shea (19th) and Derrick Curtis (18th).

“First responders are on the front lines battling an enemy that has already claimed thousands of lives,” Burke said.  “As members of the City Council, we have a moral obligation to support the loved ones of these heroes who have fallen in this fight against COVID-19.”

The ordinance, drafted with input from the representatives
Ald. Marty Quinn
from the Fraternal Order of Police and Local 2 Firefighters, states the city will categorize any death of a first responder from COVID-19 to be “in the line of duty.”  Recipients of line-of-duty death benefits receive the responder’s annual salary for a year from the time of death; and pending approval of the City Council, the spouse and any children under 26 would get health care benefits.  

“First responders put their lives on the line every day, but the COVID-19 pandemic has added even more stress and uncertainty,” Quinn added. “This ordinance will help to honor the fallen and help the families who have lost their loved one.”

“There should be no question that if a first responder falls to
Ald. Silvana Tabares
COVID-19 that his or her family deserves the recognition and support from the city,” Tabares said. “If we can pass an ordinance and ease some uncertainty for the heroes who are fighting on the front lines to keep us safe and healthy, we need to do it now.”

Chicago Police officers who pass away in the line of duty are also entitled to a full honors funeral.

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