(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — State Rep. Mike Sparks (R-Smyrna) today received an endorsement from the Tennessee Professional Fire Fighters Association for the Nov. 3 House District 49 election.
The Tennessee Professional Fire Fighters Association (TPFFA) was chartered in 1960 by the International Association of Fire Fighters and is affiliated with the Southern Federation of Fire Fighters. The TPFFA protects the interests of all who are engaged in full-time firefighting, fire prevention, fire instructors, EMS, fire/EMS dispatch and other emergency related services in Tennessee.
The TPFFA currently represents 30 affiliates with approximately 4,500 active and retired members across Tennessee.
Sparks has fought to provide resources to his local fire departments throughout his tenure in our General Assembly. During the 111th General Assembly, he supported several initiatives that back both our firefighters and emergency first responders. They include:
- House Bill 316: Enacts the “Barry Brady Act,” which creates a presumption that certain conditions or impairments of full-time firefighters caused by certain cancers arose out of employment unless the contrary is shown by competent medical evidence.
- House Bill 384: Extends compensation for death of emergency responders to emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics. Authorizes local governments to continue to provide health insurance to the surviving spouse and children of an EMT or paramedic who is killed in the line of duty. (Passed Senate, currently in FW&M Sub in the house)
- House Bill 518: Effective January 1, 2020, establishes a program authorizing the Commissioner of the Department of Commerce and Insurance (DCI) to provide equally geographically-distributed grants to select volunteer fire departments for training and equipment purchases.
- House Bill 623: Grants eligibility to an officer retiring after 25 years of service to receive benefits computed as an actuarial equivalent of the retirement allowance that would have been payable under a service retirement allowance. Authorizes local governments to require officers retiring early to pay for any insurance coverage provided to members.
- House Bill 937: Increases, from $600 to $800, the salary supplement available to professional firefighters and law enforcement officers when such individuals complete annual in-service training.
“I am honored to receive strong support from the Tennessee Professional Fire Fighters Association as I seek to continue serving the citizens of Rutherford County,” said Sparks. “These brave individuals who make extraordinary sacrifices and risk their lives to protect and serve us deserve our respect and admiration. Their efforts to help others and advocacy for increased awareness of mental health and counseling for PTSD is commendable. Many may not realize that the suicide rate among fire fighters, police officers, correctional officers and EMS are among the highest occupations. I pledge to continue to lead that effort for awareness and additional resources for our firefighters, first responders and law enforcement in our state.”