Bill expanding Montana firefighters’ protections for job-related illnesses goes to governor’s desk

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  • Published: 04/15/2019 12:00 AM

VIDEO: A bill that would increase protections for firefighters who develop cancer or other illnesses after their time on the job has cleared its last legislative hurdle. The Montana Senate voted 40-10 Saturday to approve an amended version of Senate Bill 160, sponsored by Sen. Nate McConnell (D-Missoula). The House passed the latest version of the bill 89-8 last week. It will now go to Gov. Steve Bullock’s desk. “Today was a very big day for our membership statewide,” said Joel Fassbinder, a Bozeman firefighter and president of the Montana State Council of Professional Fire Fighters. SB 160 would let firefighters who have served for a certain number of years claim workers’ compensation benefits for several types of cancer, heart attacks and asbestos-related illnesses. “We’re looking at these as on-the-job injuries, similar to a firefighter falling off a roof,” Fassbinder said. “It’s no different if a firefighter develops cancer on the job.”


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