House passes federal firefighters workers' comp bill

The Federal Firefighter Fairness Act would give benefits to firefighters who contract heart disease, some cancers and other illnesses due to their service


By Leila Merrill

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Federal Firefighter Fairness Act (HR 2499) Wednesday with a 288-131 vote.

The act would provide federal workers’ compensation benefits to federal firefighters who contract certain illnesses due to their service. Heart disease, lung disease, and multiple types of cancer are listed.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Federal Firefighter Fairness Act on Wednesday with a 288-131 vote.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Federal Firefighter Fairness Act on Wednesday with a 288-131 vote. (File photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe/Associated Press)

The act includes a presumption that firefighters with at least five years of service who develop any of the listed conditions have them because of working conditions.

“Currently, federal fire fighters battling cancer face extreme difficulty obtaining the benefits they deserve. All too often, federal fighters face an insurmountable hurdle in identifying the specific exposure in their career that caused their cancer,” the International Association of Fire Fighters stated on its website.

IAFF General President Edward Kelly said the bill has been a long time in coming.

“I urge the Senate to pass this bill as quickly as possible and send it to President Biden’s desk. Our members have earned it,” said Kelly.

Recommended for you

Join the discussion

Copyright © 2022 FireRescue1. All rights reserved.