The “Thomas P. Canzanella 21st Century First Responders Protection Act” as it is today is a collaborate effort of the Unions, Legislators and Governors efforts to do what more than 44 other states in the United States have already accomplished, to write a law that would benefit Firefighters and all first responders in New Jersey. The bill was not originally named after Thomas Canzanella. For those who may not know, this legislation was championed by then- PFANJ President Thomas Canzanella in 2002 after working on "the pile" after 9/11. Tom was a Chief’s officer with the Hackensack Fire Department and was a member of NJ Task Force 1. The Task Force was mobilized and sent to NYC to assist with the rescue and recovery operation. Because of the magnitude of the devastation and loss of life, Tom as well as the rest of the United States knew at that moment the “job” of the first responder in the United States had changed forever. With the help of then NJFOP President Ed Brannigan, the bill was finally introduced in 2006 after Tom and Ed spent 4 years lobbying legislators and gathering information from other states in an effort to draft an all-encompassing bill.
Taking Action Against Occupational Cancer
If you’re fighting fires for a living, you are at increased risk of one day having to fight cancer as well. The complex mix of chemicals in smoke exposes fire fighters to carcinogens associated with a variety of cancers.