The province has it's fire fighters 'backs' when it comes to cancer.
In January, the province rolled out new rules that will allow fire fighters who get certain cancers on the job, to be compensated and supported.
"It's exciting. It's nice to have that back up and security behind our staff when they're going into less than ideal environments and they're breathing in terrible toxic products that can take away, or chip off years of your life, which is very scary and a true reality in our service," said Fort Saskatchewan fire chief, Shawn McKerry.
He said a number of fire chiefs in Alberta and across Canada worked very hard to make this happen.
Cancers such as cervical, ovarian, testicular, brain and other types each have individual exposure times surrounding compensation.
For example, Leukemia being a higher risk problem for fire fighters, they only have to be working in the fire service for five years, however if diagnosed with testicular cancer, a fire fighter would have to have 20 years in service.
"There is a higher rate of cancer in modern day fire fighters than there were 10-20 years ago. There were more natural products being used in home construction and natural fibres being used in furnishings, where as now a lot of stuff is made with oils and plastics and a lot more toxic products exist in our household products today," noted McKerry.
The City of Fort Saskatchewan has also supported its local fire fighters.
"We put in an initiative to council this year and they completely supported us. Every year from now on all of our fire staff will be sent for an advance medical screening to ensure that they are safe to do their job," added McKerry.
For a copy of the workers compensation act regarding fire fighters and cancer click here.

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