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NYSAFC Commends Passage of Legislation to Assist Volunteer Firefighters Diagnosed with Cancer

Legislation has now passed the New York State Senate and Assembly.

The New York State Association of Fire Chiefs applauds the New York State Senate and Assembly for passage of the Volunteer Firefighter Gap Coverage Cancer Disability Benefits Act. This legislation will provide much needed coverage for qualified volunteer firefighters who contract cancer.

Firefighters have a much higher rate of being diagnosed with specific cancers, including urinary, prostate, neurological, breast, reproductive system, or melanoma cancers. This insurance coverage will not provide for cancer treatment, but will assist the volunteers with costs such as copayments, travel for treatment, and other out-of-pocket expenses.

NYSAFC President John Sroka said, “The provision of this coverage for volunteers is important to ensure that many communities in New York can continue to have sufficient volunteer firefighters to protect citizens. No firefighter volunteers to get cancer, and it is imperative that firefighters and their families are protected while they protect their communities.”

NYSAFC Executive Director Jerry DeLuca said, “I want to thank Senator Joseph Griffo, as well as Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, for their tireless efforts to make this legislation possible. This legislation was the result of New York fire service associations – NYSAFC, FASNY, AFDSNY, and Fire Coordinators – working together with the Legislature to find a compromise that was achievable and met the needs of the volunteer fire service.”

The benefits provided to volunteer firefighters in this legislation are comparable to those provided to career firefighters.

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