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Hallmark bill aims to provide relief for families of firefighters

Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in congress that would expand federal support for firefighters diagnosed with cancer stemming from on the job exposure to toxins.

It’s sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. They introduced it Wednesday in honor of Mike Paidar, a Saint Paul Fire Capt. who died of leukemia back in 2020.

In 2021, Paidar’s family received benefits after his death because state officials ruled it was linked to his on-duty work as a firefighter. The government is now looking at similar support.

MPR News host Cathy Wurzer spoke with George Esbensen, board president of MnFIRE and former longtime Eden Prairie Fire Chief, to discuss his perspective.