The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2017, S. 382. Introduced by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the bill’s passage in the Senate brings it one step closer to being the first-of its kind national cancer registry specifically for fire fighters.
Last September, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed its version of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, which differs slightly from the Senate-passed bill. As a result, the two chambers will work to reconcile their differences before sending the bill to the president’s desk for his signature.
The cancer registry will collect detailed data on the occurrence of cancer in fire fighters to assist scientists with specialized information they need for research to help strengthen our understanding of the link between firefighting and cancer, which could potentially lead to better prevention and safety protocols.
"I sincerely thank the Senate leadership for taking up the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act. I also thank the entire Senate for its unanimous vote bringing us one step closer to delivering this legislation to the president’s desk for his signature,” says General President Harold Schaitberger. “The strength of the vote in each chamber demonstrates the importance of this legislation and the need to better understand cancer within the fire service.”
The IAFF will continue working with its allies in Congress to produce a final bill in the coming weeks.