Health & Safety
The South Carolina State Firefighters’ Association advocates on the behalf of all Palmetto State firefighters, both volunteer and career, all the way from the steps of the State House to City Council chambers. The health and safety of the state’s firefighters is a critical aspect of the Association’s mission.
South Carolina Firefighter Cancer Coalition
The South Carolina Firefighter Cancer Coalition exists to serve as a coordinated and collective effort of the leading South Carolina fire service agencies providing advocacy, education, and support in the fight against firefighter cancer. Coalition members are Carney Strong Initiative, Firefighter Cancer Support Network of South Carolina, Professional Fire Fighters Association of South Carolina, South Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs, South Carolina Forestry Commission, South Carolina State Fire, and South Carolina State Firefighters’ Association.
Health Care Benefit Plan
The Firefighter Health Care Benefit Plan (S.1071) was signed into law on September 28, 2020 by Governor Henry McMaster, providing the state’s firefighters with enhanced healthcare coverage if they are diagnosed with cancer. The plan is a result of a collaborative effort between the Cancer Coalition and the state General Assembly, having worked tenaciously to accomplish the first step in providing supplemental insurance for South Carolina firefighters.
Fast facts about the Firefighter Health Care Benefit Plan:
- Available to volunteer and career firefighters
- Must have been with a South Carolina fire department for at least five continuous years or within ten years of the last date of active service are eligible to receive benefits when diagnosed
- Reimbursed up to $12,000 annually for out-of-pocket medical expenses
- The benefit of $20,000 received (no more than once in a calendar year)
- Up to $75,000 in death benefits should firefighter die as a result of cancer or circumstances
- Firefighter cancer deaths classified as a line of duty death
Firefighter Cancer Database
If you’re a South Carolina firefighter who has been diagnosed with cancer, we want to hear from you. The Association is building a database of South Carolina firefighter cancer occurrences to include specific demographics and rates of cancer among our members. This data is key in providing better benefits and enacting laws to protect members. We are asking South Carolina firefighters to help build information on this tragic disease. If you have any type of cancer, or are a survivor, and are a firefighter in South Carolina, please complete this brief questionnaire. The database does not contain identifying information of the contributors.
PREVENTION & AWARENESS
Firefighters face a number of dangerous scenarios every day – fires, chemical spills or leaks, vehicle accidents – but one of the most significant threats to a firefighters’ life is cancer. According to the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, cancer caused 66% of the career firefighter line-of-duty deaths from 2002 to 2019 (Source: FCSN, International Association of Fire Fighters). In 2017 alone, 70% of career line-of-duty deaths were the result of the disease. Firefighters are almost 10 times more likely to be diagnosed with cancer and 14 times more likely to die from cancer than the general population (Source: CDC, National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety).
Latest Cancer Coalition Updates
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