President signs Firefighter Cancer Registry Act into law

Posted 9 July 2018 at 2:02 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Barre firefighter Chris Flansburg is pictured June 8 when bales caught on fire at a beef farm on Mathes Road.

Press Release, Congressman Chris Collins

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressmen Chris Collins (NY-27) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09) today celebrated President Trump signing H.R. 931, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, into law. The legislation they authored together will require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and maintain a voluntary registry to collect data regarding the incidence of certain cancers in firefighters.

This registry will allow researchers to have a greater understanding of the impacts that smoke inhalation and other occupational hazards have on a firefighter’s health, and lead to better treatment options.

“The brave men and women who selflessly keep our communities safe while fighting fires deserve for us to do everything in our power to also keep them out of harm’s way while they are on duty,” said Collins. “We currently have a lack of information about how being exposed to certain fires will impact a firefighter’s health, and this is a common sense way to collect that data to improve protocols and equipment. I express my deepest gratitude for our nation’s firefighters and first responders, and take pride in knowing that this registry could lead to reforms that will save lives.”

The Firefighter Cancer Registry Act authorizes $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.

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 931, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2017, by unanimous consent on June 22, 2018. H.R. 931 first passed the House in September 2017, by voice vote. The Senate passed the bill, with an amendment, in May by unanimous consent. H.R. 931 was signed into law today by President Donald Trump.

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