The Alberta government has added occupational disease coverage for ovarian and cervical cancer for fire fighters in the province while also reducing the number of years required on the job to qualify for testicular cancer coverage from 20 to 10.
The changes, announced by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley January 19 in a Calgary firehall, were the result of lobbying by the Alberta Fire Fighters Association (AFFA) and include cancelling an expiry date for the province’s presumptive coverage.
“To the brave men and women who serve Alberta every day as fire fighters, thank you,” Notley said in announcing the expanded coverage. “We have a deep respect for your work as you protect our lives, environment and homes. We stand with you and we will make sure you have the financial and medical support you need if you are battling cancer.”
AFFA President Craig Macdonald applauds the Alberta government for the move. “Fire fighters are six times more likely to be diagnosed with cancer, and adding female reproductive cancers not only strengthens the diversity of our profession, it makes Alberta a leader in the fire service.”
Alberta is the first province to cover ovarian and cervical cancers, and the new coverage marks the sixth time Alberta’s presumptive legislation for fire fighters has been expanded since the first laws were enacted in 2003.
The coverage, which now includes a total of 16 cancers, heart disease and post-traumatic stress injury, benefits 4,089 active members in the AFFA’s 17 locals.