Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik co-signed a letter to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to encourage them to raise awareness of the firefighter cancer registry. The letter asks the CDC to use an expansive definition of firefighter and capture additional information on volunteer, paid-on-call, career, private sector, and federal firefighters. It also pushes them to glean information on specific demographic groups, such as minority, female, and younger firefighters. The letter details many ways the CDC can encourage participation in the registry: leveraging relations with national fire and emergency response organizations, partnering with stakeholders at all levels of government, and working with fire departments all across the country.

“Firefighters and all first responders must be given the support and resources they need and deserve,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “The concerning uptick in cancer incidences in firefighters must be addressed. My hope is this letter gives the CDC the information it needs in order to develop this registry in the best possible way. Cancer prevention in the firefighter community begins with tracking trends in order to develop best practices to avoid circumstances where a firefighter is at risk. I was proud to sign this letter and support our North Country firefighter heroes.”

Last Congress, Congresswoman Stefanik helped pass the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act to develop a voluntary registry of firefighters to collect health information to determine cancer incidence and trends within their community. The CDC has requested information to aid in its development of the registry; this letter aims to develop an accurate picture of cancer incidence among the firefighting community.