Firefighters push for benefits to members fighting cancer


BOSTON (WWLP) – Studies show that firefighters are at greater risk for getting diseases like cancer. That’s why they’re calling on lawmakers to support them in their time of need.

Firefighters encounter many dangers on a daily basis. Not only from the fires themselves but also from exposure to toxins and chemicals. Although flame retardants can help protect your home from fire, these chemicals have been linked to cancer.

7 in 10 members of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts are diagnosed with cancer, according to the association’s president. Firefighters are calling on lawmakers to support a bill to expand their disability retirement benefits.

Lawmakers consider expanding firefighter disability benefits

Currently, firefighters are only eligible for presumptive cancer benefits for five years after retirement.

“Our members as firefighters are getting diagnosed with cancers at an extreme level,” the group’s president, Richard MacKinnon, explained. “Adequate funding needs to be put in to take care of our firefighters across the state.”

The state’s Public Service Committee is currently reviewing public testimony on the bill.

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