(02/15/2007)
In a time when volunteerism is declining, it may be little solace to first responders, but they now have a death benefit if they are killed in the line of duty.

The House of Delegates gave unanimous approval to a bill yesterday that would provide a $50,000 death benefit to the state's first responders.

Finance Committee Chairman Harry Keith White says it's not a lot of money, but it will help the families get through the initial shock of a tragic death.

Statistics show approximately two first responders die in West Virginia every year.

The bill was made retroactive to January 1, covering the two firefighters killed in the Little General Store explosion in Raleigh County and the Kanawha County paramedic killed in a car wreck on her way to a training class.

The bill now goes to the Senate.


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