Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Bill by Tri-Counties congressman to improve health care for federal firefighters signed into law

Lance Orozco
Firefighters at the December, 2017 Thomas wildfire as it was burning near Fillmore.

Legislation would give federal firefighters better access to benefits for issues like job-related cancer and lung disease.

The President signed into law a bill from a Tri-Counties congressman to improve healthcare benefits for federal firefighters.

The bipartisan measure guarantees federal firefighters will have the same access to job-related disability and retirement benefits as their non-federal counterparts.

Up until now, many firefighters haven’t had the same levels of benefits as state, county, and city firefighters. They have been forced to prove that their exposure to certain conditions led to major health issues like heart disease and cancer, creating a high burden of proof.

It’s estimated 10,000 federal firefighters will benefit from the change in the law.

Democratic Congressman Salud Carbajal of Santa Barbara joined forces with a fellow Democrat and two Republicans to sponsor the legislation.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.