firefighter 151712 640

Do You Know the Rule? Tenn. Special Provisions for Law Enforcement, Firefighters, Emergency Personnel 

13 Apr, 2023 Frank Ferreri

firefighter 151712 640
                               

Nashville, TN (WorkersCompensation.com) -- As is common across the country, Tennessee has special rules in place governing compensation for workers injured in the line of work in some of the most dangerous – and most important – jobs. 

Namely, the provisions cover law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency personnel, and the following chart highlights what the special considerations are. 

Job Category Provisions 
Law enforcement (in Tennessee, “law enforcement officer” includes correctional security job classification employees of the departments of correction and children's services, and full-time county law enforcement officers, including county deputy sheriffs employed in correctional security positions) Tennessee has a presumption that any impairment of health of law enforcement officers caused by hypertension or heart disease resulting in hospitalization, medical treatment or any disability, occurred in the course of employment, unless the contrary is shown by competent medical evidence.
Any condition or impairment of health that results in death will be presumed to be a loss of life in the line of duty, unless the contrary is shown by competent medical evidence. 
Physical requirement: The law enforcement officer must have successfully passed a physical examination prior to the disability, or upon entering governmental employment and the examination fails to reveal any evidence of the condition of hypertension or heart disease. 
Firefighters There is a presumption that any impairment of health of such firefighters caused by disease of the lungs, hypertension or heart disease resulting in hospitalization, medical treatment or any disability, shall be presumed, unless the contrary is shown by competent medical evidence, to have occurred or to be due to accidental injury suffered in the course of employment.
Any such condition or impairment of health which results in death shall be presumed, unless the contrary is shown by competent medical evidence, to be a loss of life in line of duty, and to have been in the line and course of employment, and in the actual discharge of the duties of such firefighter's position, or the sustaining of personal injuries by external and violent means or by accident in the course of employment and in the line of duty. 
There is also a presumption that any condition or impairment of health of firefighters caused by all forms of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer, leukemia, testicular cancer, or multiple myeloma cancer resulting in hospitalization, medical treatment, or any disability, has arisen out of employment, unless the contrary is shown by competent medical evidence. Any such condition or impairment of health that results in death is presumed to be a loss of life in the line of duty, to have arisen out of employment, and to have been in the actual discharge of the duties of the firefighter's position, unless the contrary is shown by a physician board certified in oncology. 
Physical requirements: Such firefighter shall have successfully passed a physical examination prior to such claimed disability, or upon entering upon governmental employment, and such examination fails to reveal any evidence of the condition or disease of the lungs, hypertension or heart disease. 
Additionally, a firefighter desiring to utilize the presumption established for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer, or multiple myeloma cancer, must obtain a physical medical examination after July 1, 2019, and the examination must include a cancer screening that fails to reveal any evidence of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer, or multiple myeloma cancer. 
Any firefighter desiring to utilize the presumption established for leukemia or testicular cancer, must obtain a physical medical examination after July 1, 2022, and the examination must include a cancer screening that fails to reveal any evidence of leukemia or testicular cancer. 
To be eligible to utilize the presumption established above, a firefighter shall obtain annual physical medical examinations that include cancer screenings. 
Required exposure: To be eligible to utilize the presumption established, a firefighter must have been exposed to heat, smoke, and fumes, or carcinogenic, poisonous, toxic, or chemical substances, while performing the duties of a firefighter in the firefighter's capacity as an employee and must have completed 5 or more consecutive years in service with an eligible fire department. A firefighter may utilize the presumption established for 5 years after the firefighter's most recent date of exposure. 
Emergency medical personnel There is a presumption that any impairment of health of the person caused by hypertension or heart disease resulting in hospitalization, medical treatment or any disability is presumed to have occurred in the course of employment, unless the contrary is shown by competent medical evidence.  
Any condition or impairment of health which results in death is presumed to be a loss of life in line of duty, and to have been in the line and course of employment, unless the contrary is shown by competent medical evidence. 
Physical requirement: A person must have successfully passed a physical examination prior to the claimed disability, or upon entering governmental employment, and the examination must fail to reveal any evidence of the condition of hypertension or heart disease.

Find even more useful compliance information on SimplyResearch 


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    About The Author

    • Frank Ferreri

      Frank Ferreri, M.A., J.D. covers workers' compensation legal issues. He has published books, articles, and other material on multiple areas of employment, insurance, and disability law. Frank received his master's degree from the University of South Florida and juris doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

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