HARRISBURG – Legislation to include cancer as part of the list of occupational diseases for firefighters has been approved unanimously by the State Senate. The legislation, Senate Bill 654, was introduced by Senator David G. Argall (R-29) and now moves to the House of Representatives for its consideration.
“As many brave men and women, both volunteers and professionals, throughout our state risk their lives for public safety and protection, it is important to protect firefighters who contract cancer while in the line of duty,” said Senator Argall.
With 2,400 fire departments and close to 70,000 volunteer firefighters, Pennsylvania is the birthplace of the volunteer fire service for North America. The savings to the taxpayers of having volunteer firefighters is immense; initial estimations range between $3 to 6 billion a year in overall savings for Pennsylvania taxpayers.
During the 2009-2010 session, Governor Rendell vetoed an earlier version of Senate Bill 654. Senate Bill 654 represents a recent bipartisan compromise that was reached by local municipal officials and groups representing the firefighters throughout the state.
Contact: Jon Hopcraft