Lake Isabella fire 35 percent contained

40 percent of firefighters without health insurance

20 June 2012

published by

 USA -LARIMER COUNTY – Firefighters on the lines of the High Park Fire are doing dangerous work without health insurance.

The federal Wildland Fire Service Association says around 40 percent of federal firefighters are part time workers without benefits.

Firefighters put their lives on the line to save those things that can never be replaced.

But, what you might not know is that thousands of federal firefighters are part time employees. Most part-time employees don’t get health benefits and firefighters aren’t any different.

They’re asking the federal government for an optional health benefits plan for seasonally employed federal wildland firefighters and their families.

The U.S. Forest Service part time employee gets health insurance, which includes season firefighters. They say it’s a cost that would be too high for the government to cover.

Part-time firefighters hurt on the job are covered under federal workers comp. A Forest Service spokesperson says if firefighters can prove lingering health issues as a result of their work, taxpayer dollars will cover the cost of their care.

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