Atlanta firefighter injured off-duty lobbies for law to protect 1st responders

The ordinance would fully cover and protect first responders who are hurt while choosing to respond to an off-duty emergency.
Published: Apr. 7, 2023 at 8:29 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2023 at 10:44 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - On Jan.15 long-time Atlanta firefighter and paramedic Lt. Mark Quick sprang into action as he witnessed a car accident while off-duty.

“That’s kind of my instinct is to help people. To serve others,” Quick said. “In my attempt to render help, I ended up getting struck by a car. Me and another good Samaritan.”

The next thing Quick remembers is waking up in the ICU at Grady Hospital with injuries to his brain, spinal cord, ribs, jaw, and more.

“It has drained my sick leave and my annual leave,” Quick said.

Since Lt. Quick was off duty, he won’t receive worker’s comp or extended paid leave from the Atlanta Fire Department. Now, he and the Atlanta Firefighters Association are lobbying for a new law that would protect first responders who are off the clock.

Atlanta Firefighters Association President Nate Bailey has been working with the Atlanta City Council to help craft an ordinance that would fully cover and protect first responders who are hurt while choosing to respond to an off-duty emergency.

“We’re never really off duty and if we see someone that needs help, we’re going to take action. Just like Mark did,” Bailey said.

Bailey says Atlanta District 10 Councilwoman Andrea Boone will introduce the legislation later this month. Boone sent Atlanta New First the following statement:

“Our firefighters are our heroes. They selflessly run towards danger with the goal of saving lives every single day. They are angels on a mission. We are so grateful for their concern and their heart-felt compassion. This legislation takes care of our first responders no matter where they are because they have a special skillset that may be required. It’s the right thing to do.”

“We want to get it passed here in the city and then next January when the session starts we’re going to try and propose it to our state legislature and the governor and see if we can get it passed statewide,” Bailey said.

Lt. Quick says even though this new legislation won’t necessarily help him, he’s happy to advocate for this change so that it can help other first responders in the future.

If you would like to help Lt. Quick with his medical bills, click HERE.