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Firefighter Cancer Benefits Ready For Passage

Two firefighters battle a blaze of smoke.
Benjamin Krensha
The Florida Channel
Two firefighters walking on burned trees covered with smoke

After getting unanimous approval Tuesday in the Senate, a proposal that would provide increased benefits to firefighters diagnosed with cancer is ready for final approval in the House. 

The bill (SB 426), sponsored by Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, requires providing a series of benefits to firefighters diagnosed with 21 types of cancer.

Sen. Ed Hooper, a Clearwater Republican and retired firefighter, called the bill the “proudest vote” he’s ever taken. The Senate voted 38-0 for the bill.

House sponsor Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, later Tuesday brought up the Senate version on the House floor, preparing it for a likely vote Wednesday.

State Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, whose duties include serving as state fire marshal, issued a statement Tuesday thanking Flores for leading the legislative effort on the bill.

“Passage of this bill is a giant step in the right direction of supporting Florida’s firefighters,” Patronis said.