It is well known in the industry that firefighters are regularly exposed to carcinogens as a hazard of their jobs; what is not known is that firefighters don’t always receive workers’ compensation when they develop cancer.
According to Chief Steve Buffington, fumes, chemicals and radiation can all contain carcinogens. The threat is so severe that Buffington says, “We won’t even let our guys carry their equipment into living quarters because they could spread carcinogens.”
Buffington, with the York Fire/Rescue Services team, spoke about his own father, a firefighter who lost his life to lung cancer. He asserts that if firefighters develop cancer later on in life, they may have to fight with their insurance companies to obtain workers’ comp.
However, a new bill going before Governor Tom Corbett this month will make it easier for firefighters to get the financial assistance they need. House Bill 797 has already been approved by the state House and Senate, and bill-sponsor Rep. Frank Farry is hopeful that the Governor will put his mark on it as well. While the bill would be open to career and volunteer firefighters, there will be a strict set of criteria that determines who will qualifies for workers’ compensation.
If you are in need of workers’ comp in New York and are unsure of how to start the process, contact our law office to enlist the help of a New York workers’ compensation lawyer who can guide your step-by-step.