Assemblywoman Buttenschon Introduces Legislation and a Resolution to Increase Access to Cancer Screenings for Volunteer Firefighters

January 8, 2024- Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D-C Marcy) has introduced legislation to provide cancer screenings for volunteer firefighters (A8466). The legislation would provide cancer screenings to volunteer firefighters annually, including upon entry to the force.

“The brave volunteer firefighters here in the 119th district and throughout New York State risk their lives everyday to serve our community. One of the many dangers they face in their service is developing cancer due to exposure to carcinogens and other toxins in burning buildings,” said Assemblywoman Buttenschon. “As a state, we have a moral obligation to provide our heroes with annual cancer screenings to ensure their safety.”

For almost a decade, cancer has been considered an epidemic by the fire service. According to the Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY), firefighters have a 9% higher risk of developing cancer and a 14% higher risk of dying of cancer compared to the public[1]. Annual cancer screenings will provide for early detection and reduce the mortality rate.

The legislation has garnered the support of FASNY.

"Firefighter cancer prevention, detection and treatment are important issues for our state's volunteer fire service," said Edward Tase, Jr., President of the Firefighters Association of the State of New York.  "This legislation will assist with earlier detection of cancers in firefighters, allowing for rapid treatment and improving their health and safety.  We thank Assemblywoman Buttenschon for her leadership on this topic of importance to our firefighters across the state."

In addition to introducing this legislation, she was joined by FASNY’s Secretary John D’Alessandro as the Assembly unanimously passed her resolution to mark January as Firefighter Cancer Prevention Month in New York State (K00722).

“I want to thank my colleagues for passing my resolution to establish January as Firefighter Cancer Prevention Month,” said Buttenschon. “By passing this important resolution, not only are we honoring the brave men and women who keep us safe, we are spreading awareness of the dangers that come with their service.”