Senate Passes Firefighter Cancer Registry Act
Last Friday, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, a bill that would establish a database of firefighters who develop cancer to study the links between the disease and fire service. The bill now moves to final adoption and passage by the U.S. House of Representatives, which is expected to release a final bill in the coming weeks.
The passage of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act has been well-received by the fire service community. Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), released the following statement after the unanimous Senate vote:
“I sincerely thank the Senate leadership for taking up the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act. I also thank the entire Senate for its unanimous vote bringing us one step closer to delivering this legislation to the president’s desk for his signature. The strength of the vote in each chamber demonstrates the importance of this legislation and the need to better understand cancer within the fire service.”
Firefighters and cancer
The Firefighter Cancer Registry would establish a national database of firefighters who develop cancer in their lifetimes. Studies have already shown that firefighters are 14% more likely to develop cancer in their lifetimes. Researchers hope that studying links between fire service and cancer will help develop better protective technologies for firefighters.
However, although the passage of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act is a huge win for America’s firefighters, new protective technologies won’t mean much unless local governments ensure that their fire departments are properly funded. Pressure must be put on local decision-making bodies to aid our first responders in every way possible.
The Firefighters Support Fund is dedicated to ensuring that firefighters across the country have a unified voice in government that advocates for their safety and well-being. If you believe these brave public servants deserve a united voice in our government, we encourage you to join the Firefighters Support Fund today!