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New bill would expand medical coverage for volunteer firefighters

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Posted at 4:26 PM, Jan 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 16:26:44-05

A bill to expand volunteer firefighters' benefits would give those men and women who voluntarily put their lives on the line extra coverage for cancer-related services.

Senator Chris Jacobs voted for and co-sponsored the bill.

"Volunteer firefighters in our community deserve our support and respect," said Senator Jacobs. "Every time a volunteer firefighter leaves their family to respond to a fire they do so at great exposure and risk. The least we can do for these who volunteer to fight fires in our communities is to ensure that they receive the best health care possible for any illnesses or complications, including cancer, that they develop as a result of the work they do to keep us safe."

Volunteer firefighters with at least five years of service who have developed lymphoma or leukemia since will be granted expanded coverage.

Also, volunteer firefighters with at least ten years of service who develop stomach, skin, breast, prostate and other reproductive cancers after their service will be granted coverage.

In order to apply for this coverage, volunteer firefighters would have had to pass their physical when they entered the service with no cancer diagnosis.