Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced legislation that would expand benefits for firefighters statewide.
The governor has introduced the Workers’ Compensation – Medical Presumptions legislation to add renal cell cancer, urinary cancer and kidney cancer to what is considered occupational diseases.
“It’s great, I think one of the reasons that it’s introduced is because statistics show that as firefighters we are more likely to have cancer than other professions,” Justin Malott, IAFF president of Local 1605 said.
The International Association of Fire Fighters is an organization that supports the current legislation up for approval or denial.
“We’re exposed to the smoke conditions, we already have presumptions in place that include throat and lung because of the smoke conditions that we go through regularly and this is just another way that he can help us,” Malott said.
Firefighter John Murray of the city of Hagerstown recalled the serious condition the former fire chief experienced.
“The things that we are doing and how it can affect us later on, our retired fire chief from the city of Hagerstown has throat cancer and it impacted us big time,” Murray said.
The Hogan administration introduced house bill 231 to increase the amount a volunteer firefighter can exempt from their state taxes. The current maximum exemption is 7,000 dollars but the bill would allow $10,000