HELENA- The Firefighter Health and Safety Bill passed another hurdle Monday afternoon.
Senate Bill 160 passed the third reading in the House with a vote of 89 to 9.
Great Falls International Association of Fire Fighters Local Eight President Dave Van Son said they are very excited.
“This is the furthest it has ever made,” Van Son said.
The Health and Safety Bill will provide coverage to firefighters who develop illnesses related to their job.
Montana firefighters have worked for almost two decades to pass such a law in the state and now they hope they are close to the finish line.
“It is about time. There will only be two more states out there sitting to pass this and it sounds like they are very close to doing it as well,” Van Son said.
Van Son said Great Falls firefighter Jason Baker, who died of lung cancer in February, has been with them every step of the way.
“When he was sick, he was still advocating for it and asking us to continue our fight. Not only is this a continuation of Jason, but it is him still working at this with us,” Van Son said.
The bill will now head back to the Senate for approval before it goes to the governor’s desk.
Story by Margaret DeMarco, MTN News