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Central, South Coast Congressman Co-Authors Bill To Help Sick, Injured Federal Firefighters

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(KCLU photo by Lance Orozco
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The 2018 Woolsey Fire burning in Agoura Hills

Legislation intended to bring benefits in line with local, state firefighters

A Santa Barbara congressman has reintroduced bipartisan legislation intended to give federal firefighters the same benefits as city, county, and state firefighters.

Democratic Congressman Salud Carbajal of Santa Barbara says federal firefighters don’t get the same level of disability and retirement benefits as many of their fellow firefighters.

The bill would make it easier to qualify for benefits. Currently, federal firefighters are required to pinpoint a specific injury, or type of exposure which caused a disease. Carbajal says that threshold can be difficult to meet, especially when it comes to things like lung disease and cancer.

California, and 47 other states have presumptive illness laws which make it easy for injured, or sick firefighters to qualify for aid. The bill would set the same thresholds for federal firefighters.