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Local Fire Chief Applauds Signing Of 'Fire Fighter Cancer Bill'

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal is expected to sign in to  law today the 'Fire Fighter Cancer Bill," which will provide  special protections to firefighters who contract cancers from their exposure to dangerous substances in the line of duty.

"The bill addresses eleven different types of cancer that fire fighters are more susceptible to than the general population... and all of them have been connected to being work-related diseases, Carroll County Fire Chief Scott Blue explained to WLBB Radio. "The meat and potatoes of the bill is that they can get a one-time payout of up to $25,000 to assist them with their medical bills. The other part of it is that it will provide 60-percent of their salary/ compensation for up to three years. So it gives them time to beat the terrible disease and get back to their job."

The bill would take effect on January 1st, 2018, according to Blue.

"Today's fires are not the same as when our parents and grandparents fought, where everything in house was primarily naturally made materials, "Blue said. "When the petroleum, plastic and glue products burn nowadays they give off all of these carcinogenics. Those carcinogenics are what's attacking the particular organs."

Blue says two of his fire fighters have been diagnosed with cancer in the last  two years.

"Had this law been in place at that time, it would have helped them," he said. "Unfortunately, in their case, the law is not retroactive."

House Bill 146 was penned by Rep. Micah Gravely of Douglas County.