Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Emergency personnel fitness bill goes to Senate
Blood pressure, blood glucose, body mass index (BMI) or other fitness indicators could be used by local governments to measure the health and fitness of personnel who participate in an incentive program created under House Bill 384 should such a program be approved by local ordinance, said Rep. Tom Riner, D-Louisville, the sponsor of the bill. Program participation would be entirely voluntary and could not be used as a measure of someone’s job performance, Riner said.
“The need for the legislation is simply that it provides a mechanism where we can track which communities have a fire department, or a sheriff’s department, or a police department that would like to be involved in an incentive program,” said Riner. It would be up to the state Department for Local Government to retain that information for the public record, he said.
Successes in an incentive program would be rewarded—monetarily or otherwise—based on individual or departmental performance, or the performance of a combination of departments within a local government or even among different local governments, Riner explained.
HB 384 does not include an appropriation, but would allow local governments to accept private or public monies for voluntary health and fitness programs established under the bill, said Riner.
“Local fire departments, police departments and sheriff’s departments could be the recipients of funds collected and given by those who are interested in those departments actually getting involved in … health and fitness,” said Riner. “There is no obligation at all for funding by the state or the local government—it is all a voluntary operation.”
House Bill 384 passed by a vote of 60-9 and now goes to the Senate for consideration. Rep. Lynn Bechler, R-Marion, voted against the legislation.