March 24, 2017

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Legislative Update
Legislative Update March 19, 2017   Sisters and Brothers, It has been a very busy start to the current Legislative Session and the coming weeks will require action on the part of you, our PFFM members. The number of bills that need to be addressed by our union is quite high this time around. LD 182 is a bill to ban flame-retardants in new upholstered furniture.
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What's New at PFFMAINE
PTSD Presumption Public Hearing

PTSD Presumption Public Hearing

Thursday, March 23, 1pm in Augusta
 
          Sisters and Brothers,
        LD 848-Legislation to give rebuttable presumption in Workers Compensation claims to first responders who suffer from PTSD.
The Public Hearing is Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 1pm Labor Committee Room in the Cross Building. Please plan to attend to support this important legislation for our members.
The IAFF is providing expert testimony by Dr. Suzy Gulliver, who is a specialist in this field. We also have a number of PFFM members who will be testifying. We need members to attend the hearing and show the Labor Committee that this is a high priority issue for all of us and to also support those testifying.
We know the focus the IAFF has placed on PTSD with the opening of the IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery in Maryland. It is an issue we are finally realizing needs to come out in the open and to be accepted by our members.
We currently have rebuttable presumption in Workers Compensation for Cancer and Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disease. This would be a positive step forward for our members who suffer from PTSD and file a WC claim.

It will shift the burden of proof from the employee back onto the employer and says that this behavioral health issue is the direct result of the job we due.
The legislation is sponsored by House Democratic  Assistant Majority Leader Jared Golden of Lewiston and Republican LCRED Chair Amy Volk of Scarborough.
We need your help in filling the room to show the committee that this is important to us. We all know what this job is like and that most of us relive some of the calls we have been on in our careers. This bill will help reduce the stigma wrongly associated with reaching out for help around behavioral health and get our members the assistance they need and deserve.
Please be there and stand with us to help pass LD 848. If you have any questions please contact Brother Stephen Simonson, sas32032@gmail.com  (207) 632-7443 or Brother Tim Sevigny,  tim.sevigny@gmail.com  (207) 229-2570. Stephen and Tim will be overseeing LD 848 as we make our way through the Legislative Process.
Thank you for your help on this and look forward to seeing you in Augusta.
John
         
John Martell
President
Professional Fire Fighters of Maine
International Association of Fire Fighters
pfd188@comcast.net
207-432-2370
Help us Fight Cancer

Sisters and Brothers,

The cancer epidemic is leaving its mark on families all over Maine, but firefighters are getting hit even harder than most.

Firefighters are getting cancer at alarming rates -- sometimes more than DOUBLE the cancer rates in the general public.

Strong science has linked many of the chemical “flame retardants” firefighters are exposed to on the job with multiple types of cancer.

Right now, we have the chance to get these dangerous chemicals out of Maine furniture and protect hundreds of firefighters and the citizens of Maine. BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP.

Please take a minute to fill out this form sending an email asking Legislative Committee Members to support LD 182 today! The bill would eliminate the use of toxic flame-retardants from new residential upholstered furniture. We know these carcinogenic chemicals have no proven life safety benefit in this setting and can harm firefighters when they burn and in the homes of our families when they off gas.

Click here: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/fight-firefighter-cancer

Once you have taken action, please forward or share this link with your fellow fire fighters, family and friends.

Feel free to contact John Martell, President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Maine (PFFM) if you have any questions. His e-mail is johnmartell@pffmaine.org

Is anyone interested?

The IAFC, MFSI and the PFFM are wondering if there are any departments interested in hosting this Haz Mat training. As you can see from the literature that is enclosed, successful completion of this course would provide candidates with a pro board certification. MFSI would be happy to assist with the administration of the class if necessary but it totally looks like they pretty much take care of everything. Take a look at the information and please feel free to critique or offer any other suggestions.

For more information contact:

Jim Roy

Deputy Director -Maine Fire Service Institute

19 Sewall Street

Brunswick, ME 04011

Office- (207) 844-2076

Cell- (207) 680-8064


Download: 00.Notice of Certification Testing.pdf
Cancer Risks for Firefighters: More Than You May Realize
Two years ago, 43-year-old Maine firefighter Mike Nixon was diagnosed with malignant melanoma — the most dangerous form of skin cancer. “I had a spot develop in a weird place on my ear,” he says. “It wasn’t on top where you’d think people would get skin cancer, where there is sun exposure. Read More...
Carbon Monoxide: the silent killer
PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's called the silent killer. You can't see it, smell it, or taste it. Carbon monoxide kills an average of 160 people a year in this country. Under Maine law apartment buildings now must have carbon monoxide detectors. So do long term rentals but older hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts, those built before 2009, do not. Read More...
Maine Scientist to Study Link Between Fire Fighters and Cancer
Firefighters risk their lives daily for those in the community. A scientist says there are many health risks involved and what protects them is part of the problem. Caitlin Burchill explains. ==== The Orrington Fire Chief wants to protect his crew at all costs. Read More...
Bunker Gear - Does it Fit Right?
 When I began a career in the fire service, it was a common practice in many fire departments to be issued hand me down bunker gear.  I remember once where I had to repair my helmet to make it somewhat useful.  Most firefighters entering the fire service over 20-30 years ago had to earn the right to wear new or slightly used bunker gear due, in part, to economics. Read More...
How to Become a Professional Fire Fighter
The IAFF has released a new online resource on How to Become a Professional Fire Fighter for affiliates to use in recuitment campaigns or for individuals and organizations interested in learning more about how to pursue a career as a professional fire fighter/paramedic. Read More...
Study: Exposure to flame retardant chemicals means firefighters face higher cancer risk than previously thought
Study: Exposure to flame retardant chemicals means firefighters face higher cancer risk than previously thought  ELLSWORTH, Maine — New research by a Blue Hill scientist shows that during a fire, firefighters are exposed to dangerous levels of toxic, cancer-causing chemicals created when commercial flame retardants burn. Read More...

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Updated: Mar. 24 (05:59)

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