Glendale firefighters reach deal with city on cancer claim coverage

May 19, 2023, 3:00 PM

(Facebook Photo/Glendale Fire Department)...

(Facebook Photo/Glendale Fire Department)

(Facebook Photo/Glendale Fire Department)

PHOENIX — Glendale firefighters have reached an agreement with the city that will ensure presumptive cancer claims will be accepted.

The agreement between the city and the Glendale chapter of the United Phoenix Firefighters Association Local 493 said the current process outlined by state law will be continued and that third-party claim denials will be overridden by Glendale.

The agreement, announced Thursday, was billed as a “first-of-its-kind labor and management agreement” and will be in effect through June 2024.

“This is truly a historic moment for our city and our firefighters,” Arick O’Hara, Glendale firefighter chapter president, said in a press release. “Cancer caused by our job is an epidemic among firefighters.

“The city has made the courageous choice by guaranteeing firefighters who are diagnosed with cancer in the line of duty will have the insurance coverage needed.”

Glendale, as part of the agreement, will work with its labor partners on legislation that will make clear any cancer reoccurrence diagnosed under previous rules will be covered not only in the city, but for firefighters across the state.

The city has had four claims since a presumptive cancer law went into effect in 2019, with two being accepted by Glendale after being denied by a third-party.

“We are committed to doing what is in the best interest of our employees, their families and the city,” City Manager Kevin Phelps said in the release.

“It has been the priority and policy of my office and our City Council to review all presumptive cancer claims that have been denied and to set things right for these firefighters who have dedicated their lives to protecting Glendale. This agreement memorializes that commitment.”

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Glendale firefighters reach deal with city on cancer claim coverage