Senator Jon Tester is sponsoring legislation to better identify practices that will increase the health and safety of Montana firefighters.

Tester’s bipartisan bill, the National Firefighter Cancer Registry Act¸ will establish a nationwide registry to collect, store, and monitor cancer rates among firefighters.  The registry will provide public data for researchers to better identify the causes of specific cancers that are more prevalent among firefighters and lead to the development of more sophisticated safety protocols and safeguards for professional and volunteer firefighters.

“Montana firefighters are the first to respond when crisis hits our communities and they are always there to help folks when they are in need,” Tester said.  “This bill provides the tools researchers need to begin identifying ways we can improve health and increase safety for those who put their lives on the front line in our communities.”

Firefighters are at an increased risk of contracting and developing cancer, but currently there is little available data researchers can use to identify trends and propose solutions.

The nationwide registry will be managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which would be required to regularly consult with epidemiologists, public health experts, clinicians, and firefighters.