ROCHESTER, Minn. - First responders are playing a vital role in keeping Minnesotans safe during this pandemic. That's why Minnesota Governor Tim Walz recently signed a bill to help protect these men and women on the front lines.
The legislation would allow emergency first responders and front-line workers to qualify for worker's compensation benefits in the event they would test positive for COVID-19.
Mandee Marx is a firefighter for the Rochester Fire Department. She says their job is dangerous but they know they have a duty. For her, it's comforting to know that the governor is taking extra steps to protect her and others in the state who put their lives on the line every day.
"So we are required with our job that we cannot shelter in,” Marx said. "So I think it's a great way for the state to support the police, fire, and ems by doing that. It's kind of saying 'Thank you for doing your job.' Thank you for doing what you do and if you get sick we got your back."
Right now the Rochester Fire Department is keeping their crews safe by making members social distance while at their station. Some crew members have even been shifted to alternate sites to help spread out.