72 percent of active firefighters not covered by bill in Lansing - WNEM TV 5

72 percent of active firefighters not covered by bill in Lansing

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BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Bob Kuehne said a bill in Lansing would help pay for medical expenses for firefighters who develop cancer on the job. But the measure only covers full-time firefighters, leaving a lot of people who battle smoke and flames on the outside looking in.

"It's a good thing for firefighters in general," Kuehne said.

According to the Senate Fiscal Agency, nearly 73 percent of active firefighters in the state are volunteer or paid on-call, meaning they aren’t covered by the proposed measure.

Kuehne is captain of the Auburn-Williams Township Fire Department. He's been a volunteer firefighter for 29 years.

He said he loves his duties despite the increased cancer risk that comes along with it. With that said, he wants to see every fire fighter covered in the bill designed to put money into the first responder presumed coverage fund.

"We all have the same training. We all have to train the same way. We're all required to be licensed and trained and certified through the same NFPA standards as everybody else," Kuehne said.

The legislation would cover a number of different cancers. Kuehne said he hopes there's a bill that will cover different types of firefighters as well.

"We're all in the same boat. We're a brotherhood. And I’m not going to say this is something that they shouldn't have because they should have it but let’s include everybody on it," Kuehne said.

>>READ MORE: Union, lawmakers work to secure funding to help firefighters with cancer<<

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