No one knows how many firefighters have been diagnosed with cancer in the country, let alone the state or Dutchess County.
In the past five years, officials from the state to firemen associations, have recognized the prevalence of the cancer risk that career and volunteer firefighters face. And different organizations are taking steps to quantify the problem.
On Oct. 17, 2018, the state Volunteer Firefighter Enhanced Cancer Disability Benefits Program, regulations proposed by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, went into effect.
It allows volunteer firefighters to file a claim that they had been diagnosed with cancer relating to their fire service. The Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Fire Prevention and Control will be able to see how many claims were filed at the end of the year.