Lansing looks to make hazard pay available to first responders, officials

First responders to receive hazard pay
Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 5:41 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - More than $300 dollars of hazard pay will go to Michigan’s first responders.

That money is coming to the state through the Federal Cares Act. The city of Lansing is applying to get a share for its front line workers.

The Lansing Fire Department say that are thankful to be considered for hazard the last couple of months have been anything but easy.

“Our PPE keeps changing when we go out on calls, how we have to screen for calls our patients, all of that changed that’s a huge deal for us,” said Assistant Fire Chief Mike Tobin.

Regardless of the ever changing safety protocols, Tobin says COVID-19 is hitting the department. He even states that there is “a handful of firefighters that did become positive.” Those members have recovered and are back in action; action that is certainly not going unnoticed by state and city leaders.

“When we were told to stay home and stay safe...they were still their on the job actively helping people,” said Mayor Andy Schor.

That’s why when the state made hazard pay available for police officers, firefighters, EMTs and paramedics, Lansing jumped on the opportunity to apply for the funds.

“We want to get first responders dollars in recognition.”

Lansing applied for $381,000 from one of the two available programs. Eligible City first responders would then receive $1,000 each.

“Even though it’s a small amount, in any way shape or form that they can assist us from any hardships like additional day care issues that came up, if their spouse became unemployed anything that could assist us and also offer some appreciation,” said Tobin.

Lansing is one of 700 local governments to apply for the First Responder Hazard Pay Premiums Program, according to the Michigan Treasury.

“We have been working with them to try to boost awareness for this program, but that’s about the number we hoped to have apply,” said Eric Bussis, of the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Lansing’s application is still being approved by the Treasury.

Bussis says that hazard pay will be made available for all applicants within the month.

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