RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A new piece of legislation was introduced in D.C. that would allow volunteer firefighters and emergency medical service workers to join a state or local retirement system.

U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson (NC-09) and Rep. Greg Murphy, M.D. (NC-03) introduced a bill they said would provide greater access to pension plans for North Carolina first responders. Hudson’s office said the bill would also amend the Internal Revenue Code to include full-time nonprofit firefighters and EMS workers in government pension plans.

“Firefighters and EMS workers keep our community safe and deserve our support,” said Rep. Hudson. “I am proud to join Rep. Murphy to introduce this legislation that would allow these nonprofit first responders to access the North Carolina state pension fund. I look forward to working with my NC colleagues to advance this commonsense bill in Congress.”

Right now, Hudson’s office said full-time nonprofit emergency providers are not eligible for the state’s pension plan due to federal laws. In N.C., 74 percent of fire departments are non-profit and employ more than 5,500 paid personnel who could be affected.

This legislation would provide clarity by stating these volunteers and EMS personnel can join their state and local retirement system, according to Hudson.

“North Carolinians depend on the selfless service of first responders every single day,” said Rep. Greg Murphy, M.D. “It is only fitting that these dedicated individuals should be able to depend on the government to provide them with a reliable retirement plan. This bill will be critical in ensuring our brave first responders are taken care of when their call to service comes to an end.”

The bill is supported by North Carolina’s Republican House delegation.