In the News

In concussion debate, don’t forget toll on first-responders

More funding for a cure and better training and data are critical for law enforcement

Concussions and other injuries sustained by law enforcement at the Capitol on Jan. 6 garnered national headlines. While much of the national dialog surrounding concussions over the past decade has focused on athletes, concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injuries or mTBI, are a daily hazard faced by first-responders across the country.

Although specific data on the annual number of concussions sustained is lacking, assaults and violent acts, vehicle crashes, falls, explosive forced entry, flash-bang devices and repeated low-level blast exposure are among the reported causes of concussions in first-responders.

Last week, Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J., John Rutherford, R-Fla., Don Bacon, R-Neb., and Val B. Demings, D-Fla., reintroduced their TBI and PTSD Law Enforcement Training Act. The bill would implement a number of measures to better train law enforcement for interactions with individuals suffering from PTSD or TBI. This training would help ensure the safety of members of the community, as well as first-responders. In addition, the bill would require the CDC to study and report on the prevalence and incidence of concussions among first-responders and to recommend resources for first-responders who have experienced a concussion.

Read the full story here.