Media release: cancer legisaltion

September 15, 2011


The Fire Brigade Employees’ Union has called on the NSW Government to ensure firefighters who develop cancer through work are properly looked after.

The Commonwealth is today expected to release a committee report endorsing the principle of a ‘reverse onus of proof’ – meaning Commonwealth employed firefighters who develop cancer would have greater protection and support.

FBEU State President, Darin Sullivan said it was vital the NSW Government adopt the same position.

“Firefighters are regularly called on to run into burning buildings where they can be exposed to any number of carcinogenic chemicals,”Mr Sullivan said.

“All we’re asking for is a fair go. Given that we regularly put our lives on the line, it’s reasonable to expect our members get the best possible protection if they subsequently develop cancer.

“This move has support from Labor, the Coalition and the Greens at a Federal level and we would expect similar support at a State level.”

A series of studies in Europe, the United States and Canada have all concluded that firefighters suffer higher rates of cancer because of their occupation.

One analysis in the United States found firefighters were exposed to aldehydes, benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, xylene, hydrocholic acid and a host of other dangerous chemicals.

Mr Sullivan said firefighters deserved the best protection possible.

“I call on NSW politicians of all persuasions to recognise the inherent risk firefighters take to protect public safety.

“If the Commonwealth can recognise this risk, so too can the State.”

FURTHER COMMENT: Darin Sullivan, NSW President, FBEU 0422 436 044

About Darin Sullivan (1980 Articles)
Former President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union (2009-2018) and a professional firefighter with more than 30 years experience. I live and work on the NSW South Coast, Australia. I am a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around me. I am a former Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and work with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist I have long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. I am a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and have 30 years experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. I am passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. I am also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.

1 Comment on Media release: cancer legisaltion

  1. Hello

    It’s a nice article it will help my research.



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