Rep. Daniel Pae, R-Lawton, has filed legislation to provide all Oklahoma firefighters with free coverage for annual comprehensive cancer screenings.

In this legislative session, the bill will be referred to as House Bill 3573, but Pae calls it the “Fighting Chance for Firefighters Act.”

As of right now, cancer is the number one cause of death for active-duty firefighters.

On Wednesday, January 31, the Green Country community felt the direct impact as they lay to rest Tulsa firefighter, Harrison Mosbey, after his fight with cancer.

This is a far too common fate for firefighters.

According to the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, between 2002 and 2019 two out of every three firefighters died from cancer.

In fact, Pae says this bill was requested by a constituent who was directly impacted by the loss of an Oklahoma firefighter to cancer.

Pae says there’s no denying the connection and it’s time we safeguard those who risk their lives and health protecting our communities.

“I sought to take action and pursue the necessary course to make sure we have a solution that addresses the underlying problem,” Pae said. “Here you have many firefighters who put their lives at risk and certainly cancer is a big component of all of that.”

The Fighting Chance for Firefighters Act would cover the cost of comprehensive cancer screenings for both active duty and retired firefighters across the state of Oklahoma, making it more likely to catch it in early stages and according to the American Cancer Society, increase a patient’s survival rate by tenfold.

This bill has been met with bipartisan support from both sides of the aisle.