Albany legislators should support a bill to expand medical and wage replacement coverage for volunteer firefighters if two additional measures are included [“Fighting fires, cancer,” News, March 20].
First, there should be annual screenings so that cancer can be detected early.
Second, exterior firefighters should not be included. These are firefighters who are physically unable to wear a self-contained breathing apparatus but can still place ladders against a building that’s on fire and can bring a hose to the entrance of the building.
The breathing unit is a firefighter’s first line of defense against cancer. By wearing this, he or she greatly reduces the chance of inhaling cancer-causing gases.
This bill would relieve volunteer firefighters of the worry over how they would pay for life-saving drugs and procedures.
Michael Milner, Jericho
Editor’s note: The writer is retired from the New York City Fire Department and as a volunteer firefighter in Jericho.