A group of lawmakers and representatives from the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association recently rallied in Harrisburg to encourage Governor Rendell to sign legislation, HB 1231, that would make it easier for firefighters to qualify for workers' compensation if they develop cancer during their time on the job.

To qualify for workers' compensation benefits under the legislation, a firefighter would have to be employed for four years and must have successfully passed a physical exam showing no evidence of cancer before beginning work as a firefighter or submitting an occupational disease claim.

The bill limits coverage for volunteers to only those volunteer companies that participate in the state's Fire Information Reporting System.

Thirty two states have such laws.