Firefighters these days are more likely to die of cancer than in the blazes themselves. But health coverage plans haven’t adapted to that reality. “My city’s workers’ comp carrier initially flat-out said, ‘We don’t cover cancer,'” said firefighter Patrick Mahoney. He appealed his case and won, twice, but then the city of Baytown, Texas, sued him to get the decision reversed.
CBS News: Firefighters Battle Occupational Cancer: Many Sickened First Responders Are Being Denied Workers’ Comp Benefits
Since 2002, almost two out of every three firefighters who died in the line of duty died of cancer, according to the International Association of Fire Fighters. … Now, as if surviving the flames and then fighting cancer weren’t enough, some firefighters are facing another, even more stunning challenge from the very cities they’re protecting. (6/16)
In previous coverage on the issue of firefighters’ health —
NPR: More Wildfires Bring Focus On How All That Smoke May Harm Firefighters
When Timothy Ingalsbee thinks back on his days in the 1980s and ’90s fighting wildfires in the Pacific Northwest, he remembers the adventure of jumping out of a helicopter into the wilderness, and the camaraderie of being on a fire crew. “We just slept in a heap,” he says, “on the ground under the stars, or smoke-filled skies.” But Ingalsbee, who went on to found the Eugene, Ore.-based Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics and Ecology, doesn’t like to remember all that smoke. (Burns, 6/12)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Source : Kaiser Health