PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC (WBTW) – Midway Fire Rescue in Pawleys Island held a meeting Wednesday night to push for a bill aimed to help firefighters battling cancer.
The “Presumptive Firefighter Cancer Bill” was introduced in the state legislature earlier this year. It would make cancer an occupational disease and allow firefighters to receive workman’s compensation if they’re diagnosed with certain types of cancers.
Midway Battalion Chief Josh Carney died of cancer in 2017, and his widow spoke at Wednesday night’s meeting. Midway Fire has had two more cancer diagnoses since then.
“You get a payment for treatment and then, also, you’re covered with disability,” said Justin Lenker, President of the Midway Professional Firefighters Association. “If you have a line of duty death, that tragedy that happens, that family will be covered as well. Right now, it’s not.”
South Carolina is just one of two states in the nation that hasn’t passed legislation like this. The bill is currently in the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee.