Firefighter fund approved by lawmakers, waiting for Snyder’s signature

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s the belief of many that those who step into the line of duty to serve our community deserve to be taken care of financially when their health is at risk.

Firefighters will finally get the help they need due to a newly passed bill that will give firefighters money to help with medical bills.

Earlier this year, Lansing lost one of their most profound firemen.

Steve Babcock lost his battle to cancer but if covered by the First Responders Presumed Coverage Fund he may have had a second chance at life.

“This assures that all those families that have experienced cancer will have coverage under the fund and those firefighters that serve and protect us will be protected,” East Lansing State Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. said.

After a long year and a half, the House and Senate finally voted and decided to pass the $3 million fund.

“We expect the governor to sign the bill and we’re excited to see this get done,” Hertel mentioned.

This bill hits home for Lansing Fire Department Captain Eric Weber, as he was diagnosed with cancer in 2011.

“Too many of the firefighters have died since this legislation has started but it takes a little while, you got to work, be persistent, work through government and get it done,” Weber said.

He says this fund is basically workers compensation for firemen.

“If a firefighter comes down with that it will now be they can file a claim just like they do with workers comp. and now have coverage,” Weber stated.

“What workers comp. really does is make sure that they’re taken care of when they get cancer so all their outstanding bills are taken care of, their future medical costs are taken care of and they get some relief time to spend with their families,” Hertel said.

“At the end of the day, you’re either going to beat cancer or cancer’s going to beat you…and God forbid that it beats them…at least it now recognizes it as a work related injury and that they have coverage and protection,” Weber mentioned.

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