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5 U.S. Code § 8143b - Employees in fire protection activities
(a) Definitions.—In this section:
(1) Employee in fire protection activities.—The term “employee in fire protection activities” means an employee employed as a firefighter (including a wildland firefighter), paramedic, emergency medical technician, rescue worker, ambulance personnel, or hazardous material worker who—
is engaged in the prevention, control, or extinguishment of fires or response to emergency situations in which life, property, or the environment is at risk, including the prevention, control, suppression, or management of wildland fires; and
performs the activities described in subparagraph (C) as a primary responsibility of the job of the employee.
The term “rule” has the meaning given the term in section 804.
(b) Certain Illnesses and Diseased  Deemed to Be Proximately Caused by Employment in Fire Protection Activities.—
(1) In general.—
For a claim under this subchapter of disability or death of an employee who has been employed for not less than 5 years in aggregate as an employee in fire protection activities, an illness or disease specified on the list established under paragraph (2) shall be deemed to be proximately caused by the employment of that employee, if the employee is diagnosed with that illness or disease not later than 10 years after the last activedate  of employment as an employee in fire protection activities.
(2) Establishment of initial list.—There is established under this section the following list of illnesses and diseases:
A sudden cardiac event or stroke suffered while, or not later than 24 hours after, engaging in the activities described in subsection (a)(1)(C).
(3) Additions to the list.—
(A) In general.—
(i) Periodic review.—The Secretary shall—
in consultation with the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and any advisory committee determined appropriate by the Secretary, periodically review the list established under paragraph (2); and
if the Secretary determines that the weight of the best available scientific evidence warrants adding an illness or disease to the list established under paragraph (2), as described in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, make such an addition through a rule that clearly identifies that scientific evidence.
(B) Basis for determination.—
(C) Available expertise.—
In determining significant risk for purposes of subparagraph (B), the Secretary may accept as authoritative, and may rely upon, recommendations, risk assessments, and scientific studies (including analyses of National Firefighter Registry data pertaining to Federal firefighters) by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the National Toxicology Program, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
(Added Pub. L. 117–263, div. E, title LIII, § 5305(a)(1)(A), Dec. 23, 2022, 136 Stat. 3251.)
Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Pub. L. 117–263, div. E, title LIII, § 5305(a)(1)(C), Dec. 23, 2022, 136 Stat. 3253, provided that:
“The amendments made by this paragraph [enacting this section] shall apply to claims for compensation filed on or after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 23, 2022].”
“Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 23, 2022], the Secretary of Labor (referred to in this subsection as the ‘Secretary’) shall establish a process by which an employee in fire protection activities, as defined in subsection (a) of section 8143b of title 5, United States Code, as added by paragraph (1) of this subsection (referred to in this subsection as an ‘employee in fire protection activities’) filing a claim under chapter 81 of title 5, United States Code, as amended by this subsection, relating to an illness or disease on the list established under subsection (b)(2) of such section 8143b (referred to in this subsection as ‘ ‘the list’ [sic]) as the list may be updated under such section 8143b, shall be informed about, and offered the opportunity to contribute to science by voluntarily enrolling in, the National Firefighter Registry or a similar research or public health initiative conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Agenda for Further Review
“Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 23, 2022], the Secretary [of Labor] shall—
evaluate the best available scientific evidence of the risk to an employee in fire protection activities of developing breast cancer, gynecological cancers, and rhabdomyolysis;
“(C) submit to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives a report containing—
the findings of the Secretary after making the evaluation required under subparagraph (A); and
the determination of the Secretary under subparagraph (B).”