In light of last week's mass stabbing in Boise, Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan says it’s time to re-evaluate how the state approaches workers' compensation and mental health. Under Idaho code, first responders can receive workers' compensation for PTSD only if there is a corresponding physical injury, writes Idaho Press reporter Xavier Ward.

“This recent incident, there’s no physical injury to a firefighter, and we don’t know if they’re going to have post-traumatic stress,” Doan said. Doan said he, along with other agencies such as paramedics and police, plan to meet with lawyers to draft legal language and approach the state Legislature.

“Things like this (stabbing) kind of highlight the need for it,” he said. “I don’t know the national statistics. I do know that more firefighters killed themselves than died in the line of duty this year.” Doan called first responder suicides an “epidemic.” You can read Ward’s full report here at

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

Load comments