St. Paul Fire Capt. Mike Paidar loved helping people and his family is hoping a new determination about his death will allow that legacy to live on.
Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington recently concluded Paidar’s death from cancer was linked to his work and therefore occurred in the line of duty, making his family eligible for public safety officer death benefits.
The designation for Paidar, who was 53, is a historical first for the state, according to the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 21. The St. Paul union’s president said it’s important because studies have found that firefighters are at greater risk of cancer due to carcinogens they are exposed to in their work.
“It can hopefully create a new pathway for families, if firefighters succumb to cancer or leukemia” because of their work that their deaths are regarded as line-of-duty, said Julie Paidar, Mike’s wife of 25 years.