Under a new Tennessee law, fire fighters who are diagnosed with all forms of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, colon cancer, skin cancer and multiple myeloma cancer are presumed to have contracted the disease on the job and are now eligible for workers’ compensation coverage.
After learning of the high risk of cancer among fire fighters, the City of Memphis agreed that the legislation does not go far enough and is now including lung, mesothelioma, prostate, rectal, stomach and thyroid cancers as occupational illnesses.
“We are thankful that the Mayor Jim Strickland administration and Memphis Fire Department Director Gina Sweat worked with us to go beyond the state law to add these additional cancers,” says Memphis Local 1784 Secretary-Treasurer Matthew Tomek, “This new policy will go a long way to ensure the health and safety of our members.”
The Lifesigns medical clinic in Memphis is already set up to screen for the additional cancers. The fire department will soon distribute information about the screenings, including details about getting the screening on duty.
Moving forward, Local 1784 members plan to join their fellow Tennessee members in lobbying the Tennessee state legislature to add these six cancers to state law.