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Expanded WCB cancer coverage coming for Saskatchewan firefighters

Firefighters battled the Valley View Hotel fire in Tantallon, Sask. for six hours on April 25, 2019. Rocanville Fire Department / Supplied

Firefighters in Saskatchewan will soon have expanded workers’ compensation coverage for six additional cancers.

The government said presumption coverage for prostate, skin, breast, cervical and ovarian cancer as well as multiple myeloma will come into effect on Nov. 15.

READ MORE: WCB coverage being expanded for Saskatchewan volunteer firefighters

Officials said this will make the province a leader in Canada for Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) coverage.

“We value the work that our firefighters do and continue to do every day to keep the province safe,” Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said Tuesday in a statement.

“We know the risks that they face and want to continue to provide the supports they need by updating and expanding their WCB coverage.”

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The expanded coverage will provide professional and volunteer firefighters presumptive coverage for 15 types of cancer, along with heart injury.

Presumptive coverage means if a firefighter is diagnosed with a disease, it is presumed it is related to their work.

READ MORE: Sask. firefighters to receive expanded cancer coverage

Despite wearing respiratory gear, firefighters have an elevated cancer risk due to regular, workplace exposure to carcinogens released by burning synthetic building materials, according to officials.

Female-focused cancers were added due to the changing demographics of people entering the profession, officials added.

WCB said applicants need to provide a diagnosis and any other required information from medical professionals to support their claim.

An additional change will allow WCB claimants to access their entire claim file.

Click to play video: 'Sask. firefighters to receive expanded cancer coverage' Sask. firefighters to receive expanded cancer coverage
Sask. firefighters to receive expanded cancer coverage – Dec 5, 2018

With files from David Baxter

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