Gottheimer announces early cancer detection bill

June 27 • 2023

PFANJ members and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ)

Flanked by Professional Fire Fighters Association of New Jersey (PFANJ) members at Hackensack Fire Headquarters, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ) announced the introduction of new federal legislation that will provide funding to give fire fighters access to multi-cancer early detection tests and other preventative tests at no cost. 

The Fire Fighter Investments to Recognize Exposure to Cancer Act (FIRE Cancer Act) is endorsed by the International Association of Fire Fighters, the PFANJ, and several other fire service agencies.

“This legislation is an important tool in our fight against cancer,” said General President Edward Kelly. “If we can make sure fire fighters get tested early for multiple types of cancer, countless fire fighter lives will be saved.” 

“What’s not talked about enough is the silent killer [cancer] fire fighters come home with after the fire. Early cancer detection saves lives, and the fire fighters need resources to access cancer testing,” said Gottheimer. “If you are a fire fighter, you should be screened for cancer on a regular basis without having to worry about the cost.” 

Similar legislation has already passed on the state level in New Jersey. 

“The PFANJ led the way lobbying for the passage of that state legislation and fully supports the FIRE Cancer Act,” said PFANJ President Steve McConlogue. “Multi-cancer early detection testing will continue to be a priority for the PFANJ, as the health and safety of our members is always paramount.” 

Should the legislation become law, fire fighters will have access to evaluations, blood tests, and ultrasounds capable of detecting more than 50 types of cancer.