Senator Bob Deuell
Texas Senate, District 2
P.O. Box 12068 Capitol Station, Austin, Texas 78711

DATE: January 31, 2005
CONTACT: Don T. Forse, Jr.
(512) 463-0102

Deuell Files Legislation on Behalf of Texas Firefighters
- Senate Bill 310 would provide health benefits to Texas Firefighters

AUSTIN - On Monday, January 31, State Senator Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) filed legislation that will ensure adequate health benefits to firefighters who contract diseases while in the line of duty.

As proposed, Senate Bill 310 provides a rebuttable presumption for tuberculosis or other lung disease or illness, cancer, heart disease and smallpox. Current Texas law provides that public safety personnel who contract certain occupational diseases may receive benefits only if the person can prove the disease was caused by an exposure in the line of duty, and if a specific exposure is documented in a timely manner.

Deuell, who received the Senator of the year award from the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters in 2003, said he is proud to carry this legislation.

"I think recent history has shown us how valuable our fire fighters and first responders are," Deuell said. "They put themselves in harm's way for our safety, and I am proud to support them and carry this legislation."

Guy Turner, President of the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters, applauded Sen. Deuell for filing SB 310.

"On behalf of over 20,000 men and women watching over the life and property of the citizens of Texas, we applaud Senator Bob Deuell, for recognizing the problems we face on a daily basis, then for his courage to take our case forward to the Legislature," Turner said. "This legislation is badly needed to help insure that fire fighters and EMS workers are protected, as we protect the Citizens of Texas."