Victory! Fire Fighter Cancer Registry Act Signed Into Law
Culminating more than two years of intense lobbying and hard work by the IAFF and its leadership, President Donald Trump has signed the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018 (H.R. 931) into law. With this final action, the federal government takes the first steps towards establishing a one-of-a-kind national cancer registry specifically for fire fighters.
With President Trump’s signature, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is now directed to undertake the collection of detailed data on the occurrence of cancer in fire fighters. The data will provide scientists with specialized information needed to research the relationship between the disease and the job, which will help strengthen our understanding of the link between firefighting and cancer and potentially lead to better prevention and safety protocols.
The bill, introduced in the House by Representatives Chris Collins (R-NY) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), and in the Senate by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), passed the House unanimously in June for the second time after the Senate made slight modifications to the bill. H.R. 931 first passed the House last September.
This legislative victory was only possible with the dedication and hard work of IAFF members and a bipartisan cadre of elected federal officials. “I sincerely thank Representatives Collins and Pascrell, along with Senators Murkowski and Menendez, for working with the IAFF to pass the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act. Their superior leadership on this legislation has been invaluable. I also thank the entire House and Senate for their unanimous votes necessary to deliver this legislation to the president’s desk for his signature,” says General President Harold Schaitberger. “The strength of the vote in each chamber demonstrates the importance of this legislation and the need to better understand cancer within the fire service.”
The bill requires the Trump administration partner with national fire service organizations, including the IAFF, to build out the registry. As this process begins, we will be working closely with the Centers for Disease Control to ensure the registry well represents our members and their interests.