Firefighters combat for staff compensation for long-term well being points | Investigations

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – Firefighters and their families seek employee compensation assistance in the state of Missouri.

Workers’ compensation protects those who are injured in the workplace or who develop illness due to the nature of the work. Some workers are insured against occupational diseases under Missouri law, such as: B. Hearing loss due to industrial noise or asthma after exposure to substances at work.

At the moment, firefighters are trying to view cancer as an occupational disease. While it’s impossible to pinpoint a specific cancer caused by fire, firefighters say that exposure to smoke and chemicals to which they are exposed at work increases the time.

Decades ago, Dave Cheney was a firefighter and then a Gladstone town captain when the town had public safety officers. The officers responded to all emergency calls – police and fire brigade. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and faced long, difficult, and expensive treatment.

Treatment costs were not always covered because Cheney was not eligible for any employee compensation.

“It was really shocking,” said Donna Cheney, Dave’s widow. “When you get over the shock, you get angry. Because you thought you were covered and not. “

The Cheney’s dipped in savings to pay for treatments and refinanced their home. And after a very long fight, Dave died in 2014. Donna eventually had to sell her house.

“It’s not the money,” said Donna. “It’s the idea that Dave isn’t the only person on the fire department with cancer and that we have to take care of the firefighter.”

More is now known about the relationship between fire fighting and cancer.

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Missouri House Representative Robert Sauls has proposed laws that would force cities to pay for many medical conditions for firefighters on their payroll. It would also include cancer as an occupational disease.

“(This) can really help a lot of people who are honestly risking their lives and helping others,” Sauls said. “This is the least we can do.”

Donna said Dave loved being a firefighter but was devastated that his illness was not recognized as an occupational hazard. Donna took her fight to court and was eventually compensated, but she hopes the laws will pass and other families can skip a painful trial to get the help they need. is on the go with you now! Get the latest news updates and videos, StormTrack5 weather forecast, weather radar, special investigation reports, sports headlines and much more from KCTV5 News.

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