Collins’ Firefighter Cancer Registry Bill Passes Senate
Written by WBTA STAFF on May 11, 2018
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) announced that a bill he authored with Congressman Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, passed the United States Senate. This bill unanimously passed the House on September 12, 2017 and now has unanimously passed the Senate with one amendment offered by Lamar Alexander (R-TN) on May 10, 2018.
A 2015 study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that firefighters had a greater number of cancer diagnoses and related deaths than the general population. This revealed an enormous gap in research, which led Collins and Pascrell to author the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, which will require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and maintain a registry to collect data regarding the incidence of cancer in firefighters.
“This is a huge win for firefighters across the United States, now that we are so close to getting this bill on President Trump’s desk,” said Collins. “When this bill becomes law, we will have a succinct and voluntary registry of cancer incidence in firefighters so we know what causes cancer in these individuals and how we can better prevent it. These brave men and women put their lives in danger to keep their communities and neighbors safe, and we have a commitment to do everything we can to keep them safe and healthy in return.”
“Passage of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act in the Senate moves us one step closer to implementing this critical legislation. Improving the well-being of firefighters who risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe is an important goal. Better understanding any connections between their work and an increased risk for cancer will help mitigate those risks to keep our firefighters healthy,” said Rep. Pascrell, co-chair of the House Fire Services Caucus. “I am hopeful that the House will act swiftly so that we can get a final bill to the White House as soon as possible and we can get the program started.”
When signed into law, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act would authorize federal funding to gather data about potential risk factors in order to better improve equipment and procedures. Participation in the registry would be completely voluntary and data collected would include status of the firefighter (volunteer, paid-on-call, or career), number of years on the job, the number of incidents attended, and the type of incidence.
The Firefighter Cancer Registry Act is expected to be passed in the House as amended in the coming weeks before heading to President Trump’s desk.