FIRE FIGHTERS TESTIFY FOR BILL TO SUPPORT FIRST RESPONDERS WHO CONTRACT JOB-RELATED CANCERS
Posted On: Feb 25, 2021

On Wednesday, February 17th, 2012 first responders testified in support of a bill that would provide more protections under the workers' compensation system for fire fighters who contract reproductive cancers due to their employment. LD 213, sponsored by Rep. Rebecca Millett (D-Cape Elizabeth), would provide what is known as a “rebuttable presumption," which means that if a firefighter contracts a gynecologic cancer, it likely happened as a result of their employment for purposes of qualifying for workers comp, unless proven otherwise.

The idea for the bill came from the Women in the Fire Service Committee of the Professional Firefighters of Maine. Committee Chair Caroline St. Pierre, who is a Portland firefighter and member of IAFF 740, discovered that while current law provides a rebuttable presumption for ten different types of cancers, including testicular cancer, women’s reproductive cancers like uterine and cervical cancers are not considered job related illnesses.

“In our job, men and women do the same tasks. A fire doesn't care what gender you are. It is important that men and women in this job have the same protection," said St. Pierre. "Everyday more women are becoming firefighters. Our job poses many risks with cancer being one of the biggest."


-