Bipartisan Bills Would Secure Firefighters’ Benefits for Diseases Contracted in the Line of Duty, Provide Schedule Flexibility to Maintain Staffing Requirements

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) announced her co-sponsorship of the Federal Firefighter Fairness Act of 2021 and the Federal Firefighter Flexibility and Fairness Act, two bipartisan bills that would support federal firefighters by expanding eligibility for benefits and providing greater flexibility to manage their shifts.

“Firefighters play a critical role in protecting our communities from disasters like the wildfires that have threatened our state, and we owe it to these heroes to support their health and streamline the bureaucratic red tape that impacts their jobs,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m proud to co-sponsor bipartisan legislation that helps courageous men and women who do the important and dangerous work to keep us safe from fires in Nevada and across the country.”

BACKGROUND: The bipartisan Federal Firefighter Fairness Act of 2021 would classify a range of firefighting-linked illnesses, like lung diseases and certain cancers, contracted by federal firefighters as “job-related” and make them automatically eligible for federal workers’ compensation and disability retirement benefits.

The bipartisan Federal Firefighter Flexibility and Fairness Act would allow federal firefighters to engage in trade time, enabling two firefighters to trade shifts without affecting pay or using annual leave. Allowing firefighters to engage in trade time ensures firehouses maintain staffing requirements and enhances their ability to keep our communities safe – while enabling firefighters to meet personal obligations.

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