Georgia Firefighter Fired While Battling Cancer
Sad story out of Fairburn, GA where a firefighter has been terminated from his job as a Fairburn Firefighter while battling cancer. Jason Trotter was diagnosed with cancer in January. He was involved in a lengthy segment on the local news back in July that reported on the high rates of developing some form of cancer among firefighters. The letter notifying Firefighter Trotter was dated October 17 and informed him of his termination. Firefighter Trotter has a wife and two children. Georgia is one of the states that does not have a cancer presumption law for firefighters. Firefighter Trotter will no longer receive health insurance, an income, or his pension.
“I do feel a little bit betrayed by the city,” said Jason Trotter, 36, an eight-year veteran of the Fairburn Fire Department. “I know they’re within their legal rights but it doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.”
A husband and father of two, Trotter was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in January and immediately took a leave from work to undergo months of chemotherapy treatment. The treatment caused lung damage which has delayed doctors from giving Trotter the clearance to return to work.
In an Oct. 17 letter, the city’s human resources director David J. Johnson wrote, “it is a hardship for the City to operate the Fire Department with an unfilled position.” Johnson continued, “The city has made the decision that it must proceed with filling the position at the end of this month, which means that your employment will end at that time.”
Trotter will lose his medical insurance, pension and future participation in the retirement program.
If a firefighter got hurt on the job, he or she would be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Those same benefits, however, don’t apply to firefighters who develop cancer since medicine isn’t able to confirm that a particular incident or exposure caused the illness.
Thirty-three states have cancer presumption laws that provide firefighters in Trotter’s situation with workers’ compensation…Continue Reading Here