Sen. Proos supports funding for firefighter cancer treatment

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LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate recently approved supplemental funding of $1 million to cover the treatment for firefighters with certain cancers, said Sen. John Proos.

“Firefighters throughout all of our state put themselves in danger every day to safeguard our families and communities,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Our selfless first responders often rush into an inferno to save a life without hesitation or regard for their own health. They are there when we need them, so we owe it to them to be there when they need help.

“I strongly support helping Michigan firefighters who are battling cancer as a result of protecting us, and I will work to include additional support in the upcoming state budget.”

Proos supported legislation in 2014 to create the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund. The law was signed in early 2015 to assist firefighters dealing with specific types of cancer that is presumed to be linked to exposure to carcinogens as part of their job.

Senate Bill 802, as amended and approved by the Senate, would appropriate $1 million into the fund for the current 2016 fiscal year.

Proos said that firefighters come in direct contact with many toxins and carcinogens and that some types of cancer affect firefighters at greater rates, including lymphatic, respiratory, skin, brain, blood, bladder, kidney, thyroid, testicle and prostate cancers.

SB 802 has been sent to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.