New Fla. Law Covers Training LODDs

ORLANDO, Fla. --


A woman whose husband was a firefighter and killed during training has been pushing for a bill in Florida that will help her family and others.

Firefighter John Curry was 30 years old when he died during training in 2007, but his young family was not eligible for death benefits.

Firefighters were grief-stricken when John Curry died in a freak accident. A tree fell on him as his fire team trained to fight brush fires in a heavily wooded area.

Curry's wife said their family was victim to a legal loophole and that because her husband was not responding to an emergency scene, his death was not covered by the state. Family, friends and many firefighters were stunned to learn that death during training was not considered a line of duty death under Florida law.

Health and death benefits will now be extended to families who lose a loved one in a training accident. The new death benefit payout is retroactive for 7 years.

"When we're in training to help the public, if unfortunately one of us should die in the line of duty it's now considered by the state a line of duty death," Lt. Carl Cusumano said.

Gov. Charlie Crist was scheduled to be in Central Florida for a bill signing ceremony today, but he canceled. Curry's family said the bill being signed into law is what is really important.


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