Firefighter Cancer Registry Bill Clears Congress

Chantilly, Va. - The IAFC today thanked Congress for final passage of  the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act (H.R. 931), groundbreaking legislation which will create an anonymous, voluntary registry for firefighters at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Modern medicine does not fully understand why firefighters experience cancer at rates much higher rate than the general public,” said Chief Thomas Jenkins, IAFC President & Chairman of the Board. “The IAFC thanks our leaders in Congress for passing this important legislation to create a national firefighter cancer registry. The registry will help with critical research so we can better understand the causes and outcomes of cancer in the fire service and help us identify ways to mitigate and prevent it.”

In order to facilitate this research, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act would create an anonymous, voluntary registry for firefighters at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The data would include important information about the firefighter’s medical history; demographic information; number of incident responses and years in service; whether the firefighter was career or volunteer; what other jobs the firefighter might have had; and other risk factors. In addition, the registry would include under-represented types of firefighters, such as women and minorities.

Medical researchers would be able to use the information from this registry and compare it to information in state cancer registries to examine the relationship between firefighting and cancer. The purpose of this national registry will be to help researchers reduce the occurrence of cancer in our nation’s fire and emergency service. 

U.S. Representatives Chris Collins (R-NY-27) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), the co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, together sponsored the legislation. In the Senate, the legislation was sponsored by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Lisa Mukowski (R-AK).

PHOTO: National Guard.

About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders. Learn more
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