Young sponsors bill to protect firefighters from job interference

HB 1826 passes committee last week

A House bill sponsored by state Rep. Jesse Young that would make it a crime to interfere with firefighters and emergency workers while in the line of duty has taken the first hurdle toward becoming law.

HB 1826 would make it illegal to knowingly interfere with a firefighter or emergency medical worker to intentionally prevent, or attempt to prevent, that individual from performing his or her duties.

The House Public Safety Committee unanimously voted to pass the legislation on Jan. 27. The bill would make it a gross misdemeanor to interfere with emergency medical services providers, which includes emergency medical technicians and first responders, who are defined in statute as persons authorized by the Department of Health to render emergency medical care, Young’s office said in a news release.

A firefighter is defined as any paid or volunteer firefighter or other employee of a fire department, county fire marshal’s office, county fire prevention bureau, or fire protection district.

“I have the deepest respect for firefighters and other first responders and the lifesaving services they provide,” Young, a Republican from Gig Harbor, said in the release. “Anyone who is willing to risk their own safety to help others deserves to be supported and protected while they perform these critical duties and save people’s lives.”

House Bill 1826 now awaits a vote by the House. The 2022 legislative session began Jan. 10 and is to run 60 consecutive days.