Promising news out of Washington, D.C. as the House of Representatives today passed the firefighter cancer registry bill.
Chief Thomas Jenkins, IAFC president, said:
The IAFC thanks Representatives Collins and Pascrell for their leadership in securing passage of HR 931, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2017. This legislation will help researchers to better understand the link between firefighting and cancer and help the nation’s fire service fight this significant health threat.
Here is part of bill sponsor Rep. Chris Collins' announcement:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the House unanimously passed legislation introduced by Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) that would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and maintain a registry to collect data regarding the incidence of cancer in firefighters. H.R. 931, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, is the first step in addressing the detrimental health effects firefighters may experience when responding to fire emergencies.
“Sixteen years ago yesterday, on September 11th, 2001, we witnessed a horrible tragedy that will leave an impression on generations of Americans forever,” said Congressman Collins. “Through this tragedy, we witnessed the heroic actions of America’s brave first responders working and volunteering in the days and weeks to come. We lost many first responders during those attacks of 9/11 and we continue to lose more every year from ongoing health effects."
“Passage of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act is a major step towards improving the health and safety of our brave firefighters across the nation who head into danger despite the risks and keep our communities safe," said Congressman Bill Pascrell (NJ-09) who co-authored the bill. "The least we can do is seek to better understand the connections between the job firefighters do and risk of cancer, so we can then help mitigate those risks.”
If signed into law, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act would authorize $2 million in federal funds to the CDC from FY2018 to FY2022. Data gathered would include a number of potential risk factors, including but not limited to the status of the firefighter (volunteer, paid-on-call, or career), number of years on the job, the number of incidents attended, and the type of incidence. The collection of this data would allow for improved equipment, enhanced safety protocols and preventative techniques for our firefighters.