Atlanta City Council reacts to fireman’s plea for help after off-duty injury

Lt. Mark Quick
Lt. Mark Quick(Mark Quick)
Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 10:59 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - An Atlanta city council member is fighting to protect first responders who get hurt while choosing to respond to emergencies while off-duty.

Earlier this month, Atlanta News First highlighted how long-time Atlanta firefighter and paramedic, Lieutenant Mark Quick, witnessed a car crash in January while off duty and stopped to help, but he was hit by a car in the process. Quick said the next thing he remembered was waking up in ICU at Grady Memorial Hospital with severe injuries all over his body.

But Quick is not getting any workers’ compensation or extended pay leave and it’s all because he was not on duty at the time of the incident.

After working with the Atlanta Firefighters Association and seeing our report, District 10 Council member Andrea L. Boone on Monday introduced legislation aimed at protecting first responders who are hurt while choosing to respond to an emergency while off-duty.

The legislation, which has received support from the Fire Union, relates to provisions in state law and current questions and concerns over the inability of Atlanta firefighters to receive workers’ compensation when responding to emergencies while off duty, according to the city council.

Boone emphasized the importance of having every eligible firefighter receive benefits.

“Pure and simple, firefighters save lives,” Boone said in a statement. “They play a critical role in our public safety and are active members of our community. In terms of eligibility requirements, it is clear our firefighters are being shortchanged and it is my priority for all those eligible to receive benefits.”

City council says the proposed ordinance aims to fully cover and protect first responders. The legislation was referred to the Public Safety Legal Administration and Finance/Executive committees for consideration.