Today, at the St. Louis Fire Academy, Governor Eric Greitens announced his support for legislation that will help firefighters to get better medical care. Joined by firefighters from across the state and Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Firefighters, the Governor endorsed efforts to shift the burden of proof on whether a firefighter’s cancer is job-related off of the firefighter. The status quo results in too many firefighters being denied the compensation they deserve. Rep. Nick Schroer has filed a bill to ensure that all firefighters in Missouri have the same basic protections when it comes to job-related cancer.
“Firefighters fight fires. And if, God forbid, they have to fight cancer, they shouldn’t have to fight bureaucrats to get the care they deserve,” said Governor Greitens. “They should know that the people of Missouri are on their side.”
“Fighting fires is much more dangerous than most people realize and the IAFF applauds Gov. Greitens for recognizing the hazardous nature of the work our members do every day saving families, businesses and the communities they serve,” said Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters. “Missouri lawmakers have a historic opportunity to protect firefighters from deadly hidden dangers, just as firefighters protect the public every day.”
A video of the Governor and President Schaitberger along with Margie Griffin, a twenty-two year veteran of the St. Louis Fire Department who lost her husband, a fellow firefighter, to cancer can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/EricGreitens/videos/10156018959854747/
A full video of the announcement can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/IAFFonline/videos/1544726765563443/
Background on cancer among fire fighters: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/pgms/worknotify/pdfs/ff-cancer-factsheet-final.pdf