If Senate Bill 160, also known as the Firefighter Protection Act, becomes law, Montana firefighters could be presumed to have a valid claim of 12 occupational diseases if they served a certain number of years:
Bladder cancer: 12 years
Brain cancer: 10 years
Breast cancer: 5 years, “if the diagnosis occurs before the firefighter is 40 years old and is not known to be associated with a genetic predisposition to breast cancer”
Myocardial infarction (heart attack): 10 years
Colorectal cancer: 10 years
Esophageal cancer: 10 years
Kidney cancer: 15 years
Leukemia: 5 years
Mesothelioma or asbestosis: 10 years
Multiple myeloma: 15 years
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: 15 years
Lung cancer: 4 years
In all cases, the disease must manifest itself within 10 years of the end of a firefighter's career.
Prior to an amendment from the Senate Business, Labor and Economic Affairs committee, the bill also had included coverage of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Firefighters claiming a presumptive occupational disease may not have a history of tobacco use within the last 10 years under McConnell's bill, or even a roommate who did. A medical exam within 90 days of their hiring must also show that they do not have a family history of the disease for which they are filing a claim.