MERIDIAN, Idaho — When first responders arrive at a scene, sometimes what they encounter is so horrific the incident has lasting psychological impacts.
Other states are taking action to address mental health issues these heroes sustain on the job and there is a push in Idaho to follow suit.
On Sunday, a town hall was held in Meridian to discuss why the Gem State needs to act now.
"A lot of times when I hang up with a caller, I try and let it go," said Becky Justus, a dispatcher with the Nampa Police Department.
There are certain calls Justus has trouble shaking off after she clocks out.
"That trauma doesn't go away for me," Justus said. "I have gone to counseling, I have taken medication for it, there are many things I have had to do personally."
Timothy Wonacott is a firefighter with the Boise Fire Department.
"When I was first hired I thought I was ten feet tall and bulletproof," Wonacott said.
Wonacott has also sought counseling for what he has seen on the job.
"I had five months off, I used all my personal time for that, my sick leave, my vacation leave," Wonacott said. "So, I had to come back to work with very little time left and that was accumulating over 15 years of service."
Both Wonacott and Justus came to Sunday's town hall to drum up support for House Bill 1028, a measure that would financially cover costs for first responders with mental injuries sustained at work.
Under current Idaho law, first responders are not covered for psychological injuries unless there is an accompanying physical injury.
"It would be amazing if this bill were to pass," Justus said.
Sponsored by Democrat Rep. Matt Erpelding, HB 1028 unanimously passed through the Senate Committee on Commerce and Human Resources Thursday and is awaiting a vote on the Senate Floor.