Wheeling Firefighters are just getting back from Charleston after lobbying alongside senators and delegates to protect both professional and volunteer firefighters across the state.
President Tom Haluscak said the bill is something both important and personal for the Wheeling Fire Department. Several firemen have passed away recently from cancer and one is still on the job protecting the city while fighting cancer.
Local 12 took 9 firemen to Charleston to attend the MAZ conference named in honor of retired Wheeling assistant fire chief Michael A. Zambito.
Each year different bills are discussed, this year the cancer presumption bill is the focus, known as House Bill 2498 and Senate Bill 82.
All of West Virginia’s border states have some kind of cancer presumption bill in effect for firefighters, which recognizes that a firemen contracted a certain type of cancer while on the job.
“We can’t show what specific date it happened, but we can actually jut say because of being a fire fighter we have gotten this type of cancer, and we don’t have to fight workman’s comp or insurance claims while we’re struggling from this illness,” said Haluscak.
Haluscak said that now firemen will wait for the decision, by way of the senators and delegates, to move the bill through the committee and onto the Senate or House floor.
He said Local 12 does want to thank Northern Panhandle senators and delegates who are huge supporters of the the cancer presumption bill. The bill needs to be passed through committee by March 10.