Bill to cover firefighters for cancer, PTSD to be reintroduced
Montana lawmakers expect to introduce a bill that would expand health coverage for Montana firefighters.
Proposed measures similar to the Firefighter Health and Safety Bill have failed in the past.
Proponents of the bill want state firefighters to be covered for illnesses like cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Montana State Council of Professional Firefighters president Joel Fassbinder said the language in this bill has been cleaned up.
"It's been 20 years trying to protect those who protect our communities," Fassbinder said. "The science shows that our members are much more prone to a lot of nasty cancers more than the general population."
He added that workers compensation for Montana firefighters only covers on-the-job injuries.
Montana is one of three states where firefighters aren't covered for illnesses believed to be contracted through the job. The others are Delaware and Florida.
Firefighters said that opponents of past bills said it would cost taxpayers too much money.