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Imperial County firefighters urge for more benefits for reserve first responders

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IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - The Imperial County Firefighters Association is hoping their reserve firefighters can receive more benefits while working on the frontlines of the Coronavirus pandemic.

"Thirty-three percent of our force is extra-help employees. They're titled reserve firefighters," explained Aaron Castro, vice president of the Imperial County Firefighters Association.

Those in the force that are full-time workers are eligible to receive paid COVID-19 leave if they are exposed to the virus while working, but at this time that does not include reserve workers, according to the association.

Instead, reserve workers are only given 72 hours of sick leave each calendar year, according to Bobby Duenez, president of the Imperial County Firefighters Association.

News 11 spoke to County Supervisor Luis Plancarte who said the board reached out to the association after seeing their message on social media and informed them the topic will be discussed at Tuesday's meeting.

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Ciara Encinas

Ciara Encinas is an Emmy award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the KYMA in May 2018.

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