Wednesday
November 1, 2017


 

 

 

Firefighters thank Gunther for pushing cancer health benefit legislation


Doolittle: "... peace of mind"

SUMMITVILLE – Some 30 volunteer firefighters from Sullivan and Orange counties gathered at the Summitville firehouse on Tuesday to say ‘thank you’ to Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther of Forestburg for shepherding legislation that will provide health coverage for firefighters who contracted cancer while serving their communities.

Franklin Doolittle, Jr., president of the Summitville Fire Company and a past chief of the department, has colorectal cancer that has metastasized to his liver. He has undergone surgeries and chemotherapy and believes he is nearing a complete cure.

The benefits do not take effect until 2019.

“To me personally, I will probably have no benefit from this other than knowing that I helped fight to get other members, the up and coming guys, the guys who don’t have cancer and haven’t had it; some kind of coverage and some kind of peace of mind," Doolittle said. "It would have helped me to have that piece of mind, but I didn’t, unfortunately.”

David Quinn, chief administrative officer for the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York, was also on hand to thank Gunther.

The bill includes a lump sum of $25,000 for any qualified volunteer firefighter that contracts cancer; 36 months of disability benefits of $1,500 per month in the event a volunteer firefighter is unable to work due to the illness; and a $50,000 death benefit for a volunteer firefighter’s family in the event they die from the cancer.

 


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