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Palm Beach County firefighters with work-related cancer will now get more assistance

Posted at 8:29 PM, Feb 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-06 04:51:14-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay says county firefighters will get some help when they are diagnosed with cancer.

"It's something I really believe in and something that I wanted to push," said McKinlay.

County Commissioners approved cancer presumption for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue firefighters.

"One of the provisions in that contract allows for a presumption of cancer on 11 different cancers that in studies have determined that firefighters are at high risk," said McKinlay.

Now, when firefighters are diagnosed with certain types of cancer, the county will provide some relief.

Scott Bielecky with the Professional Firefighters/Paramedics of Palm Beach County said this move is historic.

"They have to have been employed with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue for five years, they also have to be nicotine free, smoke-free for five years prior to being eligible for this. Also, they can't work for another fire rescue agency that would have exposed them to the same type of cancers that they would be exposed to here," said Bielecky.

There are several aspects of the cancer presumption.

"What it does is provide them two years in order to be able to overcome cancer and come back to work and that's one of the biggest things as part of the cancer coverage. And they don't have to use their time. that time will be provided."

The agreement is effective Tuesday since both the commissioners and the union ratified it. For more details, firefighters should contact the Professional Firefighters/Paramedics of Palm Beach County, Local 2928.