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Firefighter with cancer battles insurer after being denied workers’ comp

Twenty-year Mission Fire Department veteran Homer Salinas was denied because a research study claims firefighters are only at risk of three types of cancer


By FireRescue1 Staff

MISSION, Texas — A firefighter with cancer is in a battle with the city’s insurer after being denied workers’ compensation because he did not have a specific type of cancer.

KRGV reported that 20-year Mission Fire Department veteran Homer Salinas was told by the Texas Municipal League that he did not qualify for workers’ comp because he was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, and not one of three specific types of cancer that a research study says are caused by firefighting.

Mission Fire Department veteran Homer Salinas was told by the Texas Municipal League that he did not qualify for workers’ comp because he was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma. (Photo/GoFundMe)
Mission Fire Department veteran Homer Salinas was told by the Texas Municipal League that he did not qualify for workers’ comp because he was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma. (Photo/GoFundMe)

According to the International Agency on the Research of Cancer, firefighters are only at risk of developing testicular cancer, prostate cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Mission Firefighter’s Association president Robert Lopez wants the decision to be overturned due to the fact that firefighters are exposed to cancer-causing fumes.

“Exposure to toxic smoke, exposure to chemicals that we have to deal with before, after and during fires,” Lopez said.

“Any decision that TML makes is final basically, in regards to the city interacting with them,” Robert Hinojosa, director of risk management for the city, said.

The Mission Firefighter’s Association said they will continue to fight with Salinas, even if the city does not help.

 

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