Cancer is a growing concern for firefighters around the Lake Area and Missouri.

And Governor Mike Parson has now signed a bill to help the fight.

The bill creates a voluntary benefit pool that’ll give payments to firefighters who develop cancer as a result of their profession.

Carbon and other contaminants often gets absorbed into a firefighter’s protective gear, and it’s believed that this why some of them get sick.

 

More info on the bill:

SS/SB 45 – This act allows for the creation of a Voluntary Firefighter Cancer Benefits Pool by three or more political subdivisions. Under the act, any political subdivision may make contributions to a Voluntary Firefighter Cancer Benefits Pool. The board of trustees of any pool created for the purposes of this act is subject to the Sunshine Law. The pool is allowed to make payments to covered individuals based upon the type of cancer with which the covered individual was diagnosed.

Benefits may be reduced by 25% if the covered individual used a tobacco product within the 5 years immediately preceding the cancer diagnosis.

If any individual that receives benefits under this act thereafter receives workers’ compensation benefits for the same injury, then the workers’ compensation benefits or death benefits shall be reduced 100% by any benefits received from the pool under this act.

Furthermore, the employer in any workers’ compensation claim shall be subrogated to the right of the employee or to the dependent or domestic partner to receive benefits from the pool and such employer may recover any amounts which such employee or the dependent or domestic partner would have been entitled to recover from the pool under this act. Any receipt of benefits from the pool under this act shall be treated as an advance payment by the employer, on account of any future installments of workers’ compensation benefits.

Any pool created for the purposes of this act may accept or apply for grants or donations from any private or public source. Furthermore, any such pool may apply for grants from the state fire marshal. This provision expires June 30, 2023.

The act also amends a provision of law relating to disbursement of grants to volunteer fire protection association workers’ compensation insurance premiums for volunteer firefighters. Current law requires the State Fire Marshal to disburse such grants to any applying association. This act permits such disbursement.