New Ariz. law reduces workers' comp barriers for firefighters with cancer
The bill further protects female firefighters by adding breast cancer and ovarian cancer to the list of qualifying diseases
By Laura French
PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill into law last week that reduces barriers for firefighters seeking workers' compensation for cancer.
The bill strengthens the presumption that a firefighter's cancer diagnosis is work-related by removing several requirements, including the requirement that firefighters identify exactly when and where they were exposed to a carcinogen that caused their cancer, according to a statement from Ducey's office. Firefighters also no longer have to have had at least five years of hazardous duty to qualify for compensation, and no longer need to have had a physical exam showing no signs of cancer prior to employment.
The new law also protects female firefighters by adding breast cancer and ovarian cancer to the list of diseases eligible for compensation.
"Firefighters and other first responders dedicate countless hours to protecting our communities and keeping Arizonans safe. It's our job to protect them too," Ducey said in a statement. "This bill expands protection for diseases acquired through the job, and helps ensure our safety professionals receive the support and resources they need."
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Paul Boyer (R-District 20) and was supported by several organizations including the Professional Firefighters of Arizona and the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association.
"The signing of Senate Bill 1451 is a huge win for Arizona's firefighters and fire investigators that also includes female cancers," Boyer said in a statement. "They do so much to protect our communities, and I was proud to sponsor legislation that helps protect them. My thanks to Governor Ducey for signing this important bill."