Montana News

Jan 21, 2013 7:21 PM by Melissa Anderson - MTN News

MT firefighters rally for occupational health insurance

HELENA - Members of the Montana State Council of Professional Fire Fighters gathered at the Capitol on Monday to fight for their health concerns.

Montana is one of only three states that doesn't have insurance protection if firefighters are diagnosed with a disease based upon occupational hazards.

They are asking lawmakers to re-instate workers compensation provisions that were stripped in 1987.

Firefighter Joel Fassbinder said fires aren't what they used to be 20 years ago.

"We have a lot more plastics and petroleum chemicals, and those are causing some weird cancers that have only been identified in minute instances but they are popping up in firefighters."

Council members hope to introduce a Firefighters Presumptive Disease Coverage Bill during the 2013 legislative session.

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