BOISE, Idaho — A victory in the Idaho Statehouse Tuesday for people like Eagle Fire Batallion Chief Rob Shoplock.
"It's really exciting," said Shoplock, Executive VP, Professional Fire Fighter of Idaho.
Tuesday also proved an exciting day for those hoping to see policy change in how mental health is addressed for Idaho's first responders.
"Something that may take 7 years on their own to heal, they can go to 15 or 20 counseling sessions and get right back where they were," said Shoplock.
Idaho Senate passed a bill Tuesday to extend workers' compensation coverage for police, fire fighters, and other first responders-- coverage for treatment of PTSD and other psychological injuries.
"They serve us, sometimes they're in horrible situations like the one we saw this past summer here in this area where the child's birthday party was attacked and you had a lot of carnage."
Shoplock says this is a life-or-death problem for first responders across the country.
"Last year alone, 103 fire fighters and 140 police officers nationwide committed suicide."
That number is higher than the number of responders who died in the line of duty last year.
"That's ten times the normal rate of the general public. So our suicide rates are higher, alcoholism, drug abuse, divorce is on the rise-- and we really see that all this is stemming from injuries on the job."
Right now first responders can only file a claim for a psychological injury if they also got a corresponding physical injury. But soon that could all change, especially now that the bill has passed the Senate-- "with 31 votes yes, four against," according to Shoplock.
The 4 votes against it were from Republican Senators, though the support has mostly been bipartisan.
"We feel like we have a lot of momentum heading over into the house and excited to see this bill get through this year," said Shoplock.