WASHINGTON (WDTN) – President Trump signed Sherrod Brown’s Firefighter Cancer Registry Act into law on Wednesday.
The Act requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create and maintain a voluntary registry to collect data on cancer incidence among firefighters. The collected data will be used along with state data to better assess and prevent cancer among firefighters.
The bill was passed by the Senate with unanimous consent in May.
“While the rest of us run from danger, firefighters run toward it,” said Brown. “And when they rush into the flames they’re not just putting their lives on the line – even firefighters who come home safely face long-term health risks. We know this is just a first step and there’s a lot more work to do to protect our first responders. But this bill will help us make progress.”
Brown’s bill also requires the CDC to develop ways to maximize participation, develop guidance for state agencies, encourage inclusion among participants, and to seek feedback from nonfederal experts. The data collected in the registry will also be required to be made public and accessible for research.
The bill is supported by several major fire organizations such as the National Volunteer Fire Council, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the Congressional Fire Services Institute, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, and the International Fire Services Training Association.
Mike Taylor, President of the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters, said, “The Fire Fighter Cancer Registry will help gather important data about fire fighters with occupational cancer. This data will provide scientists with the specialized information they need for research to help strengthen our understanding of the link between fire fighting and cancer and help bolster our presentation and safety protocols.”
Taylor is also currently battling his own occupational cancer.