HARRISBURG – Legislation to include cancer as part of the list of occupational diseases for firefighters was approved today by the House Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee. The legislation, Senate Bill 654, was introduced by Senator David G. Argall (R-29) and now moves to the floor of the House for its consideration.
“I’m pleased to see this pro-firefighter legislation move forward,” said Argall. “With so many brave men and women volunteering throughout our state, this legislation is important to protect firefighters who contract cancer while in the line of duty.”
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