WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that President Trump signed a spending package that includes $1 million in funds for Brown’s Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, which requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create and maintain a voluntary registry to collect data on cancer incidence among firefighters. The data collected by the registry will be used with existing state data to better assess and prevent cancer among firefighters. These funds are included as part of the final Department of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies conference report and will go toward establishing the registry. President Trump signed Brown’s bill into law in July.
“While the rest of us run from danger, firefighters run toward it,” said Brown. “And when they rush into the flames they’re not just putting their lives on the line – even firefighters who come home safely face long-term health risks. We know this is just a first step and there’s a lot more work to do to protect our first responders. But this bill will help us make progress.”
Earlier this month, Brown met with Northeast Ohio firefighters at the Western Reserve Fire Museum and Education Center in Cleveland to discuss his bipartisan bill. And in July, Brown joined Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters President Mike Taylor on a news conference call as President Trump signed Brown’s legislation into law. President Taylor joined the call to discuss why the voluntary cancer registry is an important tool for firefighters as experts work to assess and prevent cancer among firefighters.
In addition to establishing the volunteer registry, Brown’s bill requires the CDC to develop a strategy to maximize participation, develop guidance for state agencies, encourage inclusion among participants and to seek feedback from nonfederal experts. The CDC would also be required to ensure the data collected is made public and accessible for research.
The legislation has support from several major fire organizations, including the National Volunteer Fire Council, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), the Congressional Fire Services Institute, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, and the International Fire Services Training Association.