Wyoming Firefighters Celebrate Law Ensuring Access to Benefits
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Gov. Matt Mead has signed into law a bill that ensures immediate access to worker's compensation for firefighters diagnosed with diseases connected to their job.
The law grants firefighters automatic access to benefits if they are diagnosed with a number of conditions that are linked to firefighting, like cardiovascular disease or certain cancers. Previously, firefighters had to prove their disease was related to their work — an arduous process during an already stressful time.
Researchers have found that firefighters are at a higher risk for certain diseases and cancers.
The law essentially flips the burden of proof. Instead of firefighters proving their illness is related to their disease, employers have to demonstrate that it is not.