Members of U.S. Congress call for firefighter cancer registry

Posted at 11:32 AM, Mar 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-08 11:32:23-05

A new bi-partisan proposal by members of U.S. Congress would create the first-ever national firefighter cancer registry. 

The Firefighter Cancer Registry Act would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and maintain a voluntary registry of cancer incidences among volunteer and paid firefighters.

The registry would help researchers identify the link between fighting fires and cancer. 

"They would never, never not go into a fire because of a danger, even a danger down the road that afflicted them down the road," said U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), one of the bill's sponsors, during a news conference in Buffalo, NY last month.

The proposal currently has a total of 13 sponsors, including U.S. John McCain (R-AZ), U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-MI), and U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ.)

The proposal comes after an exclusive On Your Side investigation revealed the link between fighting fires and cancer.

INVESTIGATION: How Ohio fails to help firefighters facing cancer

After our investigation aired, state legislation to provide additional workers' compensation benefits to Ohio firefighters facing cancer was passed by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. John Kasich in January.

The legislation was also re-named after Mike Palumbo, a Beachwood firefighter featured in our investigation, who is currently battling brain cancer.

On Your Side Investigator Sarah Buduson will have more on the firefighter cancer registry tonight on News 5 at 6 p.m.