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Lives at Risk After the Fire

How Florida firefighters have been battling against cancer

Allison Kropff, Heather Bailey, and Madison Alworth, WTSP with permission

TAMPA BAY, Florida (WTSP) – When a person calls 911, and a firefighter responds to the call for help, they realize that person is having one of the worst days of their life. The call could be for a medical emergency, a car accident, or flames attacking the home.

The first responders don’t hesitate. They don’t think twice about the dangers they will face to help the people they’ve committed to serve. But, with their service comes another battle: a fight against cancer.

According to the International Association of Fire Fighters, cancer is now the leading cause of death for firefighters. It’s not a danger many of them knew they would have to fight when they took their oath.

At the rate they were contracting occupation-related cancers, they needed help. That’s why the firefighter cancer legislation is so important to every single firefighter in the state of Florida.

10News shared their stories with you earlier this year, and it’s something they fought for since 2003.

Failed attempts to pass the legislation:

2003: Firefighter cancer bill first introduced; stalled in committee
2004: Bill introduced and stalled in committee
2005: Bill introduced and stalled in committee
2007: Bill introduced and stalled in committee
2008: Bill introduced and stalled in committee
2016: Bill introduced and stalled in appropriations
2017: Bill introduced and stalled in subcommittee
2018: Bill introduced and stalled in appropriations. However, a bill did pass to require training related to cancer and mental health risks within the fire service.
2019: Bill finally passes. Scroll down for a timeline of how it happened.

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