New York volunteer firefighters who have been diagnosed with certain cancers will be eligible for health care benefits under a new state law.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that he has signed legislation that will provide the benefit to the nearly 100,000 New Yorkers who serve as volunteers with fire companies across the state.
"New York is forever grateful to the 96,000 volunteer firefighters who selflessly put their own personal safety at risk in order to keep their neighbors and communities safe," Cuomo said. "With this measure, we will provide these courageous New Yorkers the protections they need and the peace of mind they deserve."
"This is a great day for New York State," said Kenneth Pienowski, President of the Firemen's Association of the State of New York. "New York's brave volunteer firefighters now have the protections and help they need in the tragic event of a cancer diagnosis."
Volunteer firefighters injured in the line of duty are currently eligible for accidental disability and death benefits through Workers' Compensation. Under the new law, as of January 1, 2019 firefighters will also be eligible to receive health benefits to support treatments for certain cancers.
Among the types of cancers covered under the law are lung, prostate, breast, lymphatic, hematological, digestive, urinary, neurological, reproductive systems or melanoma.