TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) — In firefighter communities across Florida, the news out of the state capital is positive.READ MORE: Amber Alert Issued for 9-Year-Old Aniya Arcia
“It is good news, I am cautiously optimistic,” says Keith Tyson, the State Director of the Florida Chapter of the Firefighter Cancer Support Network.
Three Florida legislators held a press conference to discuss their submission of two cancer presumption bills, one to the House and one to the Senate.
Senator Jack Latvala stressed the importance of studies linking cancer and the firefighting profession with the need for firefighters and their families to have a cancer presumption law.READ MORE: Pedestrian Killed While Crossing I-75
Representative Heather Fitzenhagen spoke of the need to support firefighters who are diagnosed with certain cancers which have been linked to the job.
All of this amid continuing concerns over the number of Florida firefighters diagnosed with cancer who say they are often left scrambling for benefits for themselves or their survivors.
Florida is in the minority of states that does not have a cancer presumption law.
This year’s incarnation of the bill includes strict reporting requirements. Other cancer presumption bills have been submitted to the Florida legislature in the past but Tyson believes momentum is different this year with increased results from studies and public and community support given reports such as CBS’s on-going investigative series The Silent Killer.MORE NEWS: Goodwill Ambassador Volunteers Get Specialized Training Ahead Of Miami Beach's Busy Holiday Weekend
The presumption clause would make it easier for firefighters who are stricken with cancer to get disability and health care benefits.