Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

May 20, 2021

Senator Anwar Joins Senate Passage of Bill Studying Cancer Relief Benefits for Firefighters

Today, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) joined the Senate’s passage of legislation that will study cancer relief benefits for firefighters in the state. As firefighters risk their lives daily to protect and save their communities, they deserve proper benefits for conditions including cancer developed in their line of work, something this bill will examine.

“On the day of New Haven Firefighter Ricardo Torres, Jr.’s funeral after he gave his life in the line of duty, it is uniquely moving for us to fight for firefighters’ rights, especially given the dangers they face on the job,” said Sen. Anwar. “I look forward to the findings of the study approved today and hope they assist us in supporting firefighters further in the future.”

Senate Bill 141, “An Act Establishing A Task Force To Study Cancer Relief Benefits For Firefighters,” establishes a task force to examine the adequacy of the current firefighters cancer relief program and the possibility of providing additional resources including workers’ compensation and other benefits to firefighters diagnosed with cancer acquired as a result of occupational exposure to noxious fumes or poisonous gases. Task force members will include but are not limited to chairs and ranking members of the Labor and Public Employees Committee, experts in workers compensation and cancer research, a representative of a firefighters’ labor organization and representatives of municipalities with paid and volunteer fire departments. This task force will submit a report to the General Assembly no later than January 1, 2022.

A study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety focused on firefighter cancer concluded that firefighters face a 9 percent increase in cancer diagnoses and a 14 percent increase in cancer-related deaths compared to the general population of the United States. Breathing in smoke and other chemicals during fighting fires and other exposure to contaminants have been directly correlated to various forms of cancer and other long-term illnesses.