"We didn't volunteer to get cancer."
Local firefighters and NYS legislators call on Governor Cuomo to sign a bill providing cancer coverage for volunteer firefighters diagnosed with certain types of cancer.
This is a benefit that paid firefighters already have. But fire service leaders say "much of Western New York is protected by the volunteer service."
Here are the bill's provisions:
- A lump sum of $25,000 for any qualifying volunteer firefighter that contracts melanoma, as well as cancers of the digestive, hematological, lymphatic, urinary, prostate, neurological, breast, and reproductive systems.
- Thirty-six months of disability benefits (at $1,500 per month) in the event the volunteer firefighter is unable to work due to their illness.
- A $50,000 death benefit for a volunteer firefighter’s family in the event should they succumb to cancer.
Officials say the bill unanimously passed both chambers of the state legislation earlier this year.