By Holly Edgell, St. Louis Public Radio
When firefighter Marnell Griffin died in January 2017, it was not due to burns, smoke inhalation or any of the other hazards people associate with his line of work. Griffin, a 22-year veteran of the St. Louis Fire Department, died of colon cancer.
“Our firefighters, they get up every morning, they kiss their families goodbye. Going to work. Dedicated to do what they love,” said Griffin’s widow, Margie Griffin, standing in the parking lot at the St. Louis Fire Academy. “Once they get to work they never know what they’re going to come in contact with.”
Among the threats firefighters come in contact with are cancer-causing agents that can end careers and lives.
Margie Griffin was one of three firefighters’ widows at a Wednesday press conference where Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens made a pitch for legislation that promises to make it easier for Missouri firefighters and paramedics to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if they get cancer.
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