Should Linemen Be Considered First Responders?

Linemen in Florida battled the elements and hurdles like this to get power back on. Should they be considered first responders?

There are lots of heroes following Hurricane Irma’s landfall in Florida and Georgia last week -- police, EMS, firefighters, linemen and more. 

Linemen been working around the clock since Irma’s arrival, but should they be recognized as first responders?  There’s a petition on change.org that suggests they should be.

The petition notes that linemen “deserve so much better than the treatment they are being given and their families deserve to be able to know that yes, their spouse or significant other is okay and safe. These men rush straight into the storm while others are running away. If that isn't what a brave, courageous first responder looks like, than I truly do not know what does.”

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Should linemen be designated as first responders?  If you think so, here's a link to the petition.  As of 1:30pm Monday, it had nearly 35,000 signatures.  

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