Schumer pushes for national firefighters’ cancer registry

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POUGHKEEPSIE – New York Senator Charles Schumer announced his effort to pass legislation that would establish a national cancer registry to be managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Representatives of several area fire departments joined Schumer (podium) at the main Poughkeepsie firehouse
to endorse his proposal

The effort he announced in Poughkeepsie on Tuesday was prompted by the many cases of cancer contracted by firefighters who responded to the 9/11 World Trade Center search and rescue effort.
“It would monitor incidences of cancer among all firefighters, career and volunteer, nationwide, so we can better understand what we are looking for and ultimately develop safety protocols and cures for these types of cancer,” Schumer said.
Mayor Robert Rolison praised the senator’s effort.
“We know that is a very difficult disease to deal with and firefighters seem to be more susceptible to cancer; we have seen that especially since the effects of 9/11 and the many firefighters that worked that pile for days and days and days, who have come down with cancer and many, who have lost their lives,” Rolison said.
Poughkeepsie Fire Chief Mark Johnson said with this latest effort by the senator, firefighters will be safer.
“Even with today’s best equipment and documentation, we continue to experience extremely high rates of cancers because of our exposure to these carcinogenic substances,” Johnson said. With a national registry, Johnson said they hope to “better protect our firefighters down the road and in the future whether it be new equipment and new technology so we can track what we need to do better to protect our people doing their job.”