Trenton – In an effort to ensure the safety of firefighters throughout the State, the Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Senator Linda Greenstein and Senator Troy Singleton that would mandate periodic cancer screenings for professional firefighters not enrolled in the State Health Benefits Plan (SHBP).
“Firefighters put their lives at risk to help others in the moments when they need it the most. But risk follows, even when they walk away from a fire,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Firefighters have a significantly higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer than the general population, and cancer is the leading cause of death among firefighters. By ensuring all New Jersey firefighters have access to cancer screenings, we can help save the lives of the people who protect ours.”
The bill, S-2743, would expand access to cancer screenings for firefighters who have a different health care plan through their employer or receive health insurance coverage in any other manner. The bill would provide that there is no out-of-pocket cost to the firefighter, and the program will pay the provider directly, eliminating the need to reimburse the firefighter for such costs.
“Prevention and early detection are the best defenses against a cancer diagnosis and it is imperative that we ensure that our firefighters, who are already susceptible to this disease, are receiving regular cancer screenings,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “Firefighters risk their lives and health to protect and save the lives of residents throughout the State, and while we can never fully repay this sacrifice, this bill would provide additional protection to individuals in this profession.”
The Senate approved this bill by a vote of 40-0.