Proposed Bill To Give Firefighters Special Cancer Prevention, Treatment

Jul 20, 2015


Studies show firefighters are at greater risk of contracting cancer than the general population.

A new bill would give Ohio firefighters additional preventive care and better benefits if they contract the disease. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.

Columbus City Firefighter Mark Rine remembers the day he sat with his wife in his doctor’s office and got the news he was dreading.

“She said, you have cancer and it’s terminal,” Rine said.

Rine is battling skin cancer. And State Representative Christina Hagan says he’s not alone.

“Firefighter have a 102 percent greater chance of contracting testicular cancer than any other type of worker. They have a 53 percent greater chance of multiple myeloma,” Hagan said.

Hagan says the heat of fires and chemicals emitted from them pose greater cancer risks for firefighters. She says, in the Columbus Fire Department alone, one out of every 14 firefighters will get some type of cancer as compared with one out of 176 people in the general population. Hagan’s bill would allow more preventive screenings for firefighters and would provide more monetary benefits for their families if they get the disease.