PFFPNC Presumptive Cancer Bill Filed

Powerful House Rules Chairman David Lewis (R-Harnett) filed House Bill 520 | Firefighters Fighter cancer Act on Thursday, legislation that will help relieve some of the burdens that fire fighters face once they have been diagnosed with nine work related cancers.

The bill is co-sponsored by Majority Leader John Bell (R-Green/Johnston/Wayne), Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln) and Rep. Gregory Murphy (R-Pitt). (Pictured below, left to right) PFFPNC encourages all fire fighters to email the bill sponsors at david.lewis@ncleg.net, Jason.saine@ncleg.net, john.bell@ncleg.net and greg.murphy@ncleg.net to thank them for filing such an important bill.

“This bill will eliminate the long process that currently takes place for a fire fighter to receive worker’s compensation for their diagnosis,” said PFFPNC DVP Scott Mullins, who lost two Asheville fire fighters to cancer in the last year. “Instead, the men and women who boldly put their lives on the line for our society are more quickly given worker’s compensation for cancers that disproportionately affect fire fighters.”

Chairman Lewis offered the following statement: “If these brave men and women are willing to storm into our homes to protect North Carolinians and our property, then we should be protecting them from the dangers that their job poses. Once I saw the medical statistics, it is clear that we need to be doing more to help, and I think this bill will alleviate the financial burden placed on fire fighters and their families once they have been diagnosed.”

The nine cancers that would be presumed for the sake of worker’s compensation are:

  • Esophageal
  • Intestinal
  • Rectal
  • Testicular
  • Brain
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Mesothelioma
  • Oral cavity

These particular cancers are chosen as they, in a rather drastic manner, disproportionately affect the men and women who serve as fire fighters.

“Firefighting is a particularly hazardous occupation where those employed in this industry are drastically more likely to be affected by a wide variety of health issues, both during their career and long after they retire,” says Majority Leader Bell. “While I pray that the day never comes where a fire fighter hears they have cancer, if one unfortunately does, he or she should be taken care of, and I think this bill does just that.”