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Tuesday, 07 May 2019

In September 2018, the NSW Rural Fire Service Association (NSW RFSA) welcomed the introduction of the firefighter compensation legislation into NSW State Parliament, fully supported by then Hon. Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant MP and Hon. Minister for Finance Victor Dominello MP.



The legislation enables eligible volunteer and paid firefighters diagnosed with one of 12 specified cancers to receive appropriate compensation without the burden of proof and was introduced because of research proving that firefighters experience a higher incidence of cancer – largely due to increased exposure to chemicals.



NSW RFSA President Ken Middleton says he has been encouraged by the favourable outcomes for firefighters since the change in law last year.



“The fact is that volunteer and paid firefighters face enormous health risks – not just from fighting fires, but because of the serious chemicals they have to work with to make sure everyone else is safe,” Mr Middleton said.



“This important legislation finally recognised this fact, and put the minds of our hard-working firefighters at ease, that if something goes wrong health-wise, at least help will be available.



“Since the introduction of the new laws, many volunteer firefighters have come forward for help, with details of cancer diagnoses pre and post September 27, 2018.



“The wonderful news is that we continue to hear good stories from members, including examples of volunteers who received deserved compensation under the new legislation.



“The RFSA will continue to advocate strongly on behalf of our volunteer firefighters, including for legislative changes that protect our volunteers and give their families peace of mind.”