State Lawmaker Eyes Benefits For Firefighters With Cancer

Sen. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) with firefighters. (Karen Kasler/Statehouse Bureau)
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A Strongsville Republican Senator is trying a fourth time to get a state bill passed that he says will help firefighters who got cancer while on the job. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

35 states have so-called presumptive disability laws linking firefighting to cancer – and that makes it easier for firefighters with cancer who can’t work anymore to get workers’ comp and disability benefits.

Sen. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) wants Ohio to be the 36th, but said mayors and city leaders have raised questions about the proposal in the past.

“Their thought or their fear or their concern is the fact that the utter reality of just how much of this is going on, how much this will affect them and their premiums and what they’re paying out of pocket,” Patton said. “But at the end of the day, the promise was ‘you take care of our people’.”

Patton says over 60% of firefighter related deaths are tied to cancer.

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