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Asheville Fire Department death brings greater attention to cancer epidemic among firefighters

Frank Morris’ family are now dedicated to seeing the Firefighters Fighting Cancer Act, HB 520, which has stalled in the state Senate since May, taken up, passed and signed by Gov. Roy Cooper to ensure other firefighters are more adequately compensated after being diagnosed with cancer, which is now the No. 1 cause of firefighter deaths in the country.

Sen. Chuck Edwards, R-Henderson, said he expects the bill to be taken up in the short session.

“Everyone in the legislature is very concerned about the health and safety of those who work to protect us,” Edwards said Dec. 6.

“I believe we need to change the narrative more toward what we need to do prevent these rather than what we can do to compensate those with cancer. I am in favor of determining the root causes and continuing to monitor the effect that these cancers are having on our firefighters,” he said.