What began 2 years ago has finally come to fruition in the state of Florida. A new law gives our everyday heroes a fighting chance against cancer at no cost to them. The bill passed with a unanimous vote in the Florida Senate and House of Representatives, and Governor Ron DeSantis signed it Friday, May 10.
Senate Bill 426 recognizes cancer as a risk firefighters are particularly susceptible to and covers total treatment, plus $25,000 upfront when they are first diagnosed. Costs will also be covered for any injuries, permanent damage, or death resulting from cancer and treatments.
The law went into effect in July 2019.
Civilians and firefighters alike are thrilled with the vote to help those individuals who constantly put their lives on the line to help others first. Cancer is a major cause of death among firefighters and has become a hazard of the job.
In fact, statistics show 70 percent of firefighter deaths are related to cancer. Firefighters are 15 percent more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than the general public.
Omar Blanco, president of the Miami Dade International Association of Firefighters Local 1403, addressed gathered firefighters and citizens at the ceremony announcing this new law:
“I hope that today we provide you with some peace and comfort, that not only are you continuing to battle this fight with the support of your brothers and sisters, now you also have the help of these amazing elected officials in this community that love you and care for you.”
At the Tampa law firm of Lorenzo & Lorenzo, we are grateful for the hard and dangerous work that firefighters do every day to protect Florida families.
If you or a loved one are diagnosed with cancer as a Florida firefighter, we invite you to contact our work injury lawyers to get help securing your compensation under this new state law.