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Kingsland officials voted to participate in the Georgia Municipal Association-Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency (GMA-GIRMA) firefighters’ cancer benefit program. Cities are required to provide the cancer benefit for firefighters under House Bill 146, passed in the 2017 legislative session.
All full-time, part-time and volunteer firefighters are eligible for the benefit. The coverage includes a lump sum benefit and a disability benefit for firefighters who are diagnosed with cancer any time after their first year of employment.
“This benefit provides for our brave men and women in firefighting should they be stricken with cancer,” said Mayor Smith. “They are involved in dangerous works and sometimes the effects of that work may not be known for many years. This benefit provides a very important safety net for them.”
HB 146 was a collaborative effort of GMA and the Georgia General Assembly. The governor vetoed an earlier bill which would have placed firefighter cancer claims in the workers’ compensation system and would have been very costly to local governments. HB 146 provides a more cost-effective way to ensure firefighters have a safety net if diagnosed with cancer.
All cities and counties are required to have the benefit in place for firefighters beginning Jan. 1, 2018.