VIDEO: A proposed bill in the State House would make cancer an occupational disease for firefighters.
Local fire officials said this would help with workers’ compensation, and if a current or former firefighter passed away from cancer, it would be considered a line-of-duty death.
"The nature of the business is you work around carcinogens and there’s a really good chance that something’s going to happen,” said Rob Mullaney, president of the Horry County Professional Firefighters.
Whether it’s at the scene of a fire or back at the station, firefighters are regularly exposed to carcinogens.
“We deal with it on multiple levels here with our trucks; they push out diesel fumes,” said Myrtle Beach Fire Department Lt. Jonathan Evans.
Evans said in the past five years, four MBFD firefighters were diagnosed with cancer.
Fire officials from across the state will be heading to Columbia next week to speak with lawmakers about this issue.