Firefighting is dangerous work, but the danger doesn’t end when the fire’s out.
Firefighters get cancer, and die from the disease more frequently than the average American.
Congress sent President Donald Trump a bill to develop a firefighters’ cancer registe to study what’s happening, and to learn what we can do to save the lives of these first responders.
New York Congressman Chris Collins said his legislation. the firefighter cancer registry act would develop a link between cancer and firefighters and track the incidences of cancer among all firefighters and the types of fires they respond to.
The passion to save lives comes with unavoidable risks for firefighter, and cancer has taken the life of at least one local firefighter.
Jane Planchon lost her husband back in 2014 to Colon Cancer.
“He would be very gratified to know that his death wasn’t in vain,” said Planchon.
When first responders suit up, the risks they face aren’t just from the fire in front of them.
“We’re more prevalent to getting cancer than other folks in other professions,” said Chief Mauro Campos with the Fayetteville Fire Department.
Planchon has fought for the last 4 years to prove his cancer diagnosis was linked to his career.
Bud worked at the Springdale Fire Department for 18 years, and Jane said the Cancer Registry Act will help prevent other families from experiencing the pain she endures.
“The more information we can get through this federal funding and study to link back to preventing the cancer from happening in the first place. That would be phenomenal to protect our first responders like they do us,” said Planchon.
Campos said this act will actually establish a link between the job and cancer.
“It just makes it a lot easier for families to know there is support out there, that that person’s record is being kept somewhere,” said Campos. “It’s part of the job, we understand that. But what we want is our city officials, our politicians in our state to know that it’s one of the inherent dangers of our job.”