ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona group sends letter to city leaders pushing for firefighter change

Dec 5, 2019, 4:35 AM
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)...
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX — Cities across Arizona have denied firefighters worker’s compensation as they battle cancer believed to be caused by their jobs.

But with momentum at the state level, a handful of municipalities have started to change course.

On Tuesday, the League of Arizona Cities and Towns sent a letter to cities’ top political leaders.

They wanted to provide an update on the latest conversations that had been discussed during ad-hoc committee meetings at the Arizona State Senate.

“It’s important for us because we are the representative of those cities on this panel, that they know what the panel is doing and also the direction it’s going,” Deputy Director Tom Belshe told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday .

The League of Arizona Cities and Towns is a municipal league that provides a link among the 90 incorporated cities and towns in Arizona. The league is the only organization that connects every municipality.

“We don’t insert ourselves in individual cases,” Belshe said. “We do provide general information to all of our cities and towns about the statute.”

Belshe said he did get responses from cities but didn’t say from where.

“Basically what we received was, ‘Thank you for the information, we’re very excited to work with you with preventive measures, the reminder of the state statute and the policy direction we’re trying to take,” Belshe said.

The league says there has yet to be any negative feedback from the letter.

Goodyear and Casa Grande, which have both recently denied firefighters with cancer worker’s compensation, denied to comment on the letter or provide a statement about what they hope to see change going forward.

The League of Arizona Cities and Towns was clear to share what they want to see accomplished at the state level.

“Prevention, early detection and making sure they [firefighters] aren’t fighting two fronts,” Belshe added. “That we make the system easy for them.”

They hope to accomplish those three things with funding.

The league wasn’t ready to say cancer prevention and firefighters treatment could be paid for by the state budget.

“What we’re talking about is finding possibly some kind of revenue source that reflects this as a statewide issue,” Belshe said.

Thursday to be the final ad-hoc committee meeting led by state Sen. Paul Boyer.

Medical professionals, the League of Arizona Cities and Towns and others are expected to announce recommendations during the meeting for the upcoming legislative session.

Arizona News

(AZ Legislature Photo)...
Danny Shapiro

Arizona state Rep. Frank Pratt dies following long illness

Republican state Rep. Frank Pratt died Tuesday at age 79 following a long illness, the Arizona House of Representatives announced.
16 hours ago
(Flickr Photo/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)...
Kevin Stone

Damage to Arizona businesses from border restrictions could be permanent

The ongoing U.S. travel restrictions at the Mexican border are causing damage to Arizona businesses that might never be repaired, according to a state business leader.
16 hours ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
KTAR.com

Here are employers who are hiring in metro Phoenix

With businesses opening to full capacity and looking to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, employers in metro Phoenix and Arizona are looking to hire. Here's the list of employers looking for workers.
16 hours ago
Jacobi Walker (Tempe Police Department photo)...
KTAR.com

Body of 18-year-old man recovered from Tempe Town Lake

Firefighters on Tuesday recovered the body of an 18-year-old man who drowned after jumping into Tempe Town Lake earlier in the morning, authorities said.
16 hours ago
(AP Photo)...
KTAR.com

Poll finds over half oppose Ducey’s ban on mask mandates in Arizona schools

A poll of Arizonans showed more than half oppose Gov. Doug Ducey's ban on mask mandates in schools and withholding funds from districts that have mask requirements.
16 hours ago
(Bell Bank Park Rendering)...
Kevin Stone

Bell Bank gets naming rights to massive Mesa sports complex

The massive sports and entertainment complex opening next year in southeast Mesa will be known as Bell Bank Park under a 10-year naming rights deal announced Tuesday.
16 hours ago
Arizona group sends letter to city leaders pushing for firefighter change