Glendale (AZ) Firefighter Kevin Thompson found out this spring he had cancer. he has been a Firefighter in Glendale for 26 years. And based upon new state law, he thought, he wouldn’t have to worry about paying for treatment because Arizona recognizes that firefighters have a higher risk of getting cancer because of the harmful chemicals they are exposed to when they fight fires.
State law lists multiple myeloma, the type of cancer Thompson has, as one of several diseases and cancers that, for firefighters, are presumed to be occupational diseases, “deemed to arise out of employment.” That’s meant to make it easier for them to get workers’ compensation coverage.
HOWEVER. for Thompson and other firefighters across Arizona with the types of cancers on that list, getting coverage is proving difficult. In June, Glendale denied Thompson’s workers’ compensation claim. That means he will be responsible for whatever out-of-pocket costs his city-provided insurance doesn’t cover. His focus shifted from fighting for his life to worrying about how he would pay for the fight.
State Sen. Paul Boyer, who represents part of Glendale, took to social media to scold the city for denying Thompson’s claim, saying that the city is violating state law. In response, the city posted a statement on its website calling Boyer’s comments “derogatory and inflammatory.”
The additional information is in an article below. Please check it out because it is NOT unheard off for these requests to be denied-even in states that have presumptive coverage.
OBSERVATION: While unrelated specifically to FF Thompson, we have, in the past week received and seen many more photos of Firefighters not wearing SCBA, not wearing full PPE and getting unnecessarily exposed than we have in quite a while. We’ve seen it in metro cities, suburban and we’ve seen it it rural areas.
While we have campaigned and have been outspoken and aggressive supporters of firefighter cancer presumption for well over a decade, we also support doing all that everyone of us can to minimize our exposure-so the last thing any of us have have to worry about is your jurisdiction fighting you, while you are fighting for your life.
But Also, Don’t Be Stupid. The sh!t we may breathe and absorb on the firegound is well proven cancer causing nasty crap. Minimize the breathing of it and get you and your gear cleaned after every working fire. If you can take precautions to lessen your exposure, then you may also avoid dealing with the city hall dwellers.
GLENDALE FIREFIGHTER DENIED PROTECTION: