No. The men and women who serve as first responders respond to calls for help from the public and routinely risk their lives in the process. While SUPPORTING HEROES is heavily supported by the first responder community, it is important for members of the general public to show their appreciation for the service of those who continue to serve and the service and sacrifice of those who have given their lives in the line of duty. Membership in SUPPORTING HEROES is a great way to do exactly that.
No. SUPPORTING HEROES responds to all line of duty Public Safety deaths in Indiana, Kentucky, and Missouri. We provide the same support to families and agencies regardless of whether a fallen hero was a member of SUPPORTING HEROES. With regard to membership, we do not ask first responders to support us because of what we might do for an individual’s family, we ask them to support us because of what we will do for their first responder family.
No. Survivors are NEVER asked or required to pay ANY of the money back. Many offer to do so, but they are told that it was our members’ and supporters’ honor to help them in every way we could. When state and/or federal line-of-duty death benefits come, we encourage them to invest the funds wisely to establish a firm foundation for their family’s future.
First, it is important to recognize that one of the principal causes of death for firefighters is heart attack. This is not reflective of a generally poor physical condition of firefighters — as many are in exceptionally good physical health. Rather, it is reflective of the extremely stressful and strenuous nature of what they do.
For years, heart attack deaths of first responders that seemed to clearly be duty-related were not treated as such because of the difficulty of proving with medical certainty that specific line-of-duty activity was THE catalyst for a cardiac event. Benefits were denied to many families who seemed to clearly deserve them.
To right this wrong, several public safety organizations presented evidence regarding delayed manifestations of cardiovascular effects of stressful and strenuous duties of first responders. As a result, Congress passed a series of laws that provides presumption guidelines for Public Safety Officers (first responders serving government entities) who suffer fatal heart attacks, strokes, or vascular ruptures within certain parameters.