Bill Allows Paid Leave For Firefighters Who Get Cancer On The Job

LYNN (WBZ-AM) -- At a firehouse in Lynn Tuesday, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill being touted as the first of its kind in the nation. It allows paid leave for firefighters who go on disability because of cancer believed to be contracted while on the job.

Sandra Orangio, the widow of former Watertown Fire Chief Mario Orangio, who died of cancer late last year, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens she's pleased.

"This is what we need, we need more of this," she said. "We need to protect our firemen and our firewomen."

The bill was named for Tony Colaruso, a Plymouth firefighter who died of cancer at the age of 39. His mother, Sharmon, talked about how he had to use all of his sick leave, and then the family had nothing.

"He was fighting for his life, now he's worried about health insurance because he hasn't any," she said. "It was very impactful on all of us. It was a very, very traumatic thing to go through."

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) reports

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