March of the Bull
URGENT: Florida firefighters need your help
When Fire Department Engineer Stephen Vanravenswaay, nicknamed “Shakey”, was a day away from losing his brave battle with a deadly form of cancer that he contracted from multiple exposures to toxic smoke, his only concern was his family. He told his dear friend, retired firefighter Tom “Bull” Hill, that he wasn’t afraid to die, but was ashamed that he wasn’t able to better provide for his family.
Firefighter Vanravenswaay’s concerns were the same as scores of other Florida firefighters who have fought, or are fighting, job related cancer.
Firefighters are twice as likely to die from cancer than the general public. Florida Firefighters who contract cancers that are deemed job related by the Centers for Disease Control do not receive the same benefits as firefighters in 39 other states.
For years now, Florida Legislatures have failed to pass a law that helps Firefighters who contract cancer from their exposure to toxic smoke to provide for their families when they are gone. Even if the firefighter’s health insurance covers the disease, the financial burden overwhelms most men and women who are paid modest salaries to protect us and the lasting effects often leaves them without a job or the ability to provide for their families, providing they survive.
Please sign this petition to tell Florida lawmakers to pass a presumptive cancer for firefighters law.
Various versions of presumptive cancer bills have been introduced each legislative session for several years; both the Florida House and Senate have voted some favorably by a clear majority. The bills are often opposed by special interest lobbyists and die in committee before they can be signed into law. Several of our senators and representatives have worked hard to help our firefighters but they have consistently fallen just short of passing actual law.
This petition is to let our State Representatives and Senators know that we demand they pass legislation that establishes presumption as to a firefighter's condition or impairment of health caused by certain types of cancer he or she contracts in line of duty.
Please sign this petition. Our firefighters are always there to help us, now it’s time we help them.