1. #1
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    Default Firefighters denied benefits they deserve

    The number of firefighters diagnosed with job related illnesses has continued to increase at an alarming rate over the past decade. Even more disturbing is the number of firefighters who are being denied the benefits they deserve because they neglect to document work related exposures.

    According to the latest NFPA statistics available, in 2004 firefighters responded to more than 1.5 million fires, 14.1 million medical calls and 354,000 hazardous materials incidents. Each of these incidents put emergency personnel at extreme risk for exposure to carcinogens, air borne pathogens, blood borne diseases and hazardous chemicals. These work related exposures significantly increase the risk of contracting various types of cancers, heart disease, pulmonary disease and communicable diseases. Too often these exposures are taken for granted because they may show little or no immediate effect. Regardless of severity or frequency, these exposures take their toll.

    Worker's compensation laws and presumptive legislation entitle firefighters to a variety of benefits including payment of medical expenses, lost wages, disability benefits, medical retirement, death benefits and survivor benefits for spouses and children. Recently several States in the US and several Canadian Provinces have focused their attention on creating or bettering these presumptive laws after firefighterís claims were being denied. Relying on these laws is not enough. Firefighters must protect themselves by documenting and archiving their exposures. With their record of exposures firefighters can prove that their illness is work related in order to receive the benefits they deserve.

    Everything firefighters do throughout the course of their day is documented. Who is on duty, what unit they are assigned to, what calls they respond to, what actions they take, what occurs at the station and much, much more. Why then are firefighters failing to document their work related exposures? Part of the problem may be the process required by an employer to document an exposure. Many departments only have a process in place to report a medical exposure. Exposures to carcinogens and other toxins are often times considered unreportable. The length of time it takes to fill out pages of paperwork to document an exposure often discourages firefighters.

    Fortunately there is a way for firefighters to quickly and easily report any type of exposure, independent of any paperwork they may file with an employer.

    Report Exposures, LLC. offers the only online exposure reporting and archiving service for Firefighters, Law Enforcement Officers, and EMS personnel in the United States and Canada. Membership is available to individuals and to entire associations. Users of the service can login to record exposures at their own discretion, hassle free.

    Firefighters are required to take risks. Itís part of the job. There is one risk you should never take. When it comes to receiving benefits for a work related illness, donít suffer the risk of being denied the benefits you deserve. Start protecting your future and your familyís future today by reporting your exposures. To learn more about exposure reporting visit http://www.reportexposures.com/

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    Wow! What a noble cause. Too bad you are exploiting these brave men for your own profit. WT to be advised.

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    Actually I am one of these brave men with 10 years on the job. I co-founded this service in 1999 after my captain was diagnosed with cancer and his claims for benefits were denied because he could not prove that his cancer was work related. While battling life threatening cancer he also had to battle the workers compensation board to get the benefits he is entitled to. It was this incident that made me realize the importance of reporting exposures. I tried using the only service available at the time to protect my own future and quickly became frustrated with it. I seeked out another service and found that there wasn't one. So I created one. Before you say that I am exploiting anyone for my own profit, let me first ask you a question. What have you done to change the fire service for the better? If you had devoted tens of thousands of dollars of your own money and thousands of hours of your free time to try and make a difference would you appreciate the comment you made. I don't, that's ok though because the members of our service appreciate the protection it provides, and the wife of a firefighter who died that used our service to get his death benefits for herself and her children appreciated what we are doing. I'm sorry that you disagree with my attempt to create awareness about the importance of reporting exposures in this forum. Why don't you try typing in firefighter cancer in google and see what you find before you try having my post removed. You are not the type of person we are looking for but who are you to decide for anyone else if this is matter is important? I think the thousands of firefighters who report exposures and the hundreds of firefighters who help create presumptive legislation would disagree with you.

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    Not for nothing, but bringing in a list of reports from an outside website doesn't carry much weight with my town as far as "documentation".
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    The key is having the information in your hands. You can use the records you have to compare to the records your department kept. In many cases once you are no longer an employee, if you change departments or if you retire, you no longer have access to the information. This way you can show the number of instances you were exposed and if someone wants to question that you can have them compare your records to the departments for validation. I have spoke to people who were denied access to their records or records were "lost" or misplaced. Employers aren't always willing to help you file a claim that they ultimatley end up paying for.

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    >>What have you done to change the fire service for the better?<<

    Dude, don't even go here.

    What you did is called an investment. Admittedly under bad circumstances, you invested your money in a business opportunity. It's done every day.

    Yes, you built a business around the suffering of others. I consider it an exploitation.

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    I meant you no disrespect. I posted some information that I feel is more beneficial for the firefighters reading these forums than what I think about Rescue Me or my favorite recipes, jokes and the such. You don't agree, fine. You are entitled to your opinion.

    I'm sorry you feel that way.

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    George, I know your background and you are well respected in both the Fire Service and in the Political venue. There are bad aspects on both sides. just recently I read an article on firehouse.com where a congressman talked about "politics" not being in the grants program. This is totally false and I can prove it. As a matter of fact I sent him an email regarding it and as of today I have not had a response to it.

    Not unlike the Fire Service where I have seen several people having to retire due to injuries or medical related issues and finding out afterwards there were stumbling blocks to getting them what they need to get well. I can understand if this were a normal job but with the exposure issues chemically we are exposed to every day that cities need to cover their workers totally where there is no loss of pay and not have to worry about financial issues. From my own experience in an electrical injury I had a few years ago I was sent by workers comp to what I felt was budget medical care. They had put me on neurontin that I later found out was not indicated for my injury and the neurologist's across the country were getting kickbacks for prescribing it for things other than it's inteneded epilepsy regimen. It was a very hard drug on me and once I found about the kickback issue chose to stop taking it and went back to my regular physician. About 4 months later in a checkup my physician finially said that my brain just needed time to heal. During my 5 months off my department due to the administration at the time never checked on me to see if they could help me at all.

    Back to the main issue, Yes I can see your point but if this person (one of us) can help better protect us then thats fine. He only started the service to help better protect everyone with documentation. It would only be a exploitation if he went to someone after the fact on cancer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lieutenant387
    George, I know your background and you are well respected in both the Fire Service and in the Political venue. There are bad aspects on both sides. just recently I read an article on firehouse.com where a congressman talked about "politics" not being in the grants program. This is totally false and I can prove it. As a matter of fact I sent him an email regarding it and as of today I have not had a response to it.

    Not unlike the Fire Service where I have seen several people having to retire due to injuries or medical related issues and finding out afterwards there were stumbling blocks to getting them what they need to get well. I can understand if this were a normal job but with the exposure issues chemically we are exposed to every day that cities need to cover their workers totally where there is no loss of pay and not have to worry about financial issues. From my own experience in an electrical injury I had a few years ago I was sent by workers comp to what I felt was budget medical care. They had put me on neurontin that I later found out was not indicated for my injury and the neurologist's across the country were getting kickbacks for prescribing it for things other than it's inteneded epilepsy regimen. It was a very hard drug on me and once I found about the kickback issue chose to stop taking it and went back to my regular physician. About 4 months later in a checkup my physician finially said that my brain just needed time to heal. During my 5 months off my department due to the administration at the time never checked on me to see if they could help me at all.

    Back to the main issue, Yes I can see your point but if this person (one of us) can help better protect us then thats fine. He only started the service to help better protect everyone with documentation. It would only be a exploitation if he went to someone after the fact on cancer.
    This "service" appears to me to be no different than those "services" where you pay someone to keep track of your credit cards so they can be reported stolen by them instead of you. Or the services where you pay a fee to find out information about government programs and jobs-info that is free if you cared to look for it. Or services that scam people into paying for a service to search for fire fighters jobs-again, info that is available for free.

    This "service", at least as fr as I can see from their website, does nothing other than collect informaiton for you that you could collect for yourself-for a fee. If this service is righteous, answer me a few questions, Lieutenant387:

    1. How much does your service cost?
    2. How does it directly benefit a fire fighter or law enforcment officer? Not sales talk crap-plain english.
    3. Is your service endorsed by the NFFF? The CFFF? The NLEOMF?
    4. Youuse the logos of the above organizations prominently on your website. Do you have their permission?

    Let's see how benevolent this guy is actually being.

    BTW< if I am wrong, there is an apology waiting from me.

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    You are just assuming George, I have nothing to do with this service period just look at things from a different view than most having to work with the work comp issue.

    you may apologize now ....

    BTW I am on the other side of the country from that guy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lieutenant387
    You are just assuming George, I have nothing to do with this service period just look at things from a different view than most having to work with the work comp issue.

    you may apologize now ....

    BTW I am on the other side of the country from that guy.
    Your'e right, I am sorry. I wasn't directing the last part of that post to you. I was directing it at ninejp3.

    Again, my apologies.

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    Itís true you could collect the information yourself for free. You could also ride a horse to work and use telegrams instead of your cell phone. Why not use technology to make your life easier. The software we created is meant to make the task of reporting exposures simple. Plus unlike keeping a record on paper or on the hard drive of your home PC, our system gives you the peace of mind that the information will be there permanently. It canít be lost, damaged or destroyed because there are backups for the backups. We have all kinds of built in features to make reporting easy. Plus by reporting to a central database we can use the data someday hopefully to try to identify trends to help figure out what types of exposures are making people sick and how to prevent them.

    Here's the answers to your questions.

    1. How much does your service cost?

    $15.00 per year for individuals. $12.00 or less per year based on the number of users for an affiliate account. (locals, associations etc.)

    (That's three grande mocha's or one day's meal cost at my station for the whole year.)

    2. How does it directly benefit a fire fighter or law enforcement officer? Not sales talk crap-plain English.

    Plain English, if you don't have a record of your exposures and you get sick or die you can get screwed. There are two types of States/ Provinces, ones with presumptive legislation and ones without. If you are in a State/Province with presumptive legislation there is still no guarantee your claim will be approved automatically. A capt. in my department (in CA which has some of the best legislation out there) had his cancer claim denied. He needed proof in order to provide a link between his illness and his on the job exposures. Since he did not keep a record of his exposures, he had to go to the storage room and dig up 20 years of log books, read them page by page and write down the incidents that he suffered exposures at. It would have been a whole lot easier to maintain a record of exposures as they occurred and then press print when he needed the data instead of going through the log books.

    If you are in a State/Province that doesn't have presumptive legislation your claims can be flat out denied. If you do some research you will see that States and Provinces are scrambling right now to get presumptive legislation in place because firefighters are being denied benefits. In Ontario alone 300 out of 463 claims were denied. Here's the article:

    http://www.ontariondp.com/news/article_521.php

    I read an article recently where a police officer's family was awarded L.O.D.D benefits which totaled over $1,200,000. What would there life have been like if that claim was denied?

    3. Is your service endorsed by the NFFF? The CFFF? The NLEOMF?

    We have never asked for endorsement from any organization.

    4. You use the logos of the above organizations prominently on your website. Do you have their permission?

    It's prominent becasue it's on the webpage template which doesn't change even though the content pages change.

    The purpose of having the logos on our site of the organizations above is to help generate donations for them from viewers who access our site. The logos are links. These organizations rely on donations. On our site it clearly says ďdonationsĒ where these links are posted. Instead of selling ad space on our site we choose to use the space to draw attention for organizations we feel are important.

    That is the definition of benevolent.

    >>>Since 1985 California Firefighters (28,000) have been documenting their exposures. We simply recognized that we canít possibly be the only ones who should be archiving their exposures. So we have given every firefighter, police officer, and EMS provider the same opportunity to protect themselves as we have available to us. I understand that some people may not care for our service. Those are not the people we are in business for. There are enough people out of the 3,000,000 or so in the public safety business that do think our cause is important and appreciate the convenience and protection it provides so 100% approval doesn't really matter. This isnít a new concept; itís simply a victim of the slowest changing industry there is, the fire service.

    I must admit George, I am growing tired of replying to your negative remarks. I really donít have the time or energy. My intention with this thread was not to be attacked but to create some awareness for this cause. A cause you obviously don't care for. I get it. Move on. If you don't people might think we're working together becasue thanks to your questions I have posted more info than I ever intended to about our service. Thanks.

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    4. You use the logos of the above organizations prominently on your website. Do you have their permission?

    It's prominent becasue it's on the webpage template which doesn't change even though the content pages change.

    The purpose of having the logos on our site of the organizations above is to help generate donations for them from viewers who access our site. The logos are links. These organizations rely on donations. On our site it clearly says ďdonationsĒ where these links are posted. Instead of selling ad space on our site we choose to use the space to draw attention for organizations we feel are important.

    That is the definition of benevolent.


    If you think George has negative comments...

    Here's mine:

    What a load of crap.

    First, you're clearly using the forum to advertise a for-profit venture violating the terms of service.

    Second, you seem to either have a poor idea of the concept of "benevolent" and/or "ethics". You're trying to profit by getting goodwill of having their logos on your site.

    Third, the "template" could be changed from content to content if you chose to.

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    >>> "you seem to have a poor idea of the concept of "benevolent"

    be∑nev∑o∑lent (b-nv-lnt)
    adj.
    1. Characterized by or suggestive of doing good.
    2. Of, concerned with, or organized for the benefit of charity.

    We have genuine concern for these organizations that's why we support them by encouraging donations from our site.

    >>>"You're trying to profit by getting goodwill of having their logos on your site."

    I will have to object to your comment on the grounds of speculation. How can you possibly know why we do what we do?

    Find something better to do than suggest we pull our links for donations to fallen firefighter and fallen law enforcement sites from our website. That's ridiculous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninejp3
    >>> "you seem to have a poor idea of the concept of "benevolent"

    be∑nev∑o∑lent (b-nv-lnt)
    adj.
    1. Characterized by or suggestive of doing good.
    2. Of, concerned with, or organized for the benefit of charity.

    We have genuine concern for these organizations that's why we support them by encouraging donations from our site.

    >>>"You're trying to profit by getting goodwill of having their logos on your site."

    I will have to object to your comment on the grounds of speculation. How can you possibly know why we do what we do?

    Find something better to do than suggest we pull our links for donations to fallen firefighter and fallen law enforcement sites from our website. That's ridiculous.
    You "object" on the "grounds" of "speculation"? OK. So you're a lawyer, too. Big deal.

    You ARE running a for-profit service and advertising it here.

    You ARE trying to do something that a FF could (and should) do for himself for free.

    The logos are interesting. They are placed prominently on your website for the sole purpose of deceiving the viewer. That's exploitation.

    I agree with Dal. You're website and your service is a profit making venture on the backs of fire and police officers who have been exposed to potentially life-threatening substances. Period. Be a man and call it what it is.

    If the WT wasn't asleep at the switch, this thread would be gone.

    I agree. What a load of crap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninejp3
    The key is having the information in your hands. You can use the records you have to compare to the records your department kept. In many cases once you are no longer an employee, if you change departments or if you retire, you no longer have access to the information. This way you can show the number of instances you were exposed and if someone wants to question that you can have them compare your records to the departments for validation. I have spoke to people who were denied access to their records or records were "lost" or misplaced. Employers aren't always willing to help you file a claim that they ultimatley end up paying for.
    Let's think about this logically. If an employer did decide to screw you over and "lose" or destroy records of an incident/exposure in order to not have to pay a claim, explain to me how my paying you $15 a year to enter the info in your database is supposed to help me? Tell me what court would accept a printout from some fly by night online company's database of info, that I myself entered no less, as evidence? Without OFFICIAL matching records to back up the claim one makes in your database, it's all for naught. And I have to say, sadly, that I'm all too well aware of just how easy it would be for an organization to "lose" records if they wanted to, and how difficult it could be to prove you were indeed exposed.

    All you are doing is charging people $15 a year to make what basically amounts to nothing more than a journal entry on your site about what (they claim) happened to them. You're not actually providing any service to them at all, save for "data warehousing", and I shudder to think how all that personal information could easily be misused, sold, lost or stolen.

    As for your claim that your company provides "online exposure reporting", again I have to emphasize, the only place anything is being "reported" to is from me to the website of a company that has no legal stature or standing in any court in the US. I can type the very same information in Notepad, save it on a CD for "archiving purposes" then print it out if I ever need to. And guess what? That "record of exposure" would carry the same exact weight as your "service" would. None at all.

    Incidentally, the thing I find most distasteful about your "service" is not that you charge $15 a year for it, because that's really not that much money at all for something worthwhile (which your "service" is not). I don't like how you, like so many companies today, are trying to attract customers by preying on their fears. Shame on you, as someone who claims to be "one of us", for stooping that low.
    Last edited by Chauffer6; 06-19-2006 at 08:27 AM.

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    >>>>>>>>Tell me what court would accept a printout from some fly by night online company's database of info, that I myself entered no less, as evidence? Without OFFICIAL matching records to back up the claim one makes in your database, it's all for naught.>>>>>>

    The mechanism for validation is comparing the Report Exposures data to the NFIRS data collected by your department in order to show that you didnít just make up the exposures but you did in fact respond to the incidents that you documented. Since the Report Exposures records are not the only source of information, you can compare both sources to prove the exposures occurred if needed.

    Another way to validate the data is by documenting who was working with you at the time of the exposure which is a field on the exposure report form. This way you have witnesses regarding the event.

    These records are meant to give you a ďlogĒ of exposures. In the event that your employer in uncooperative giving you access to department records you at least have the exposures documented independent of your employer.

    >>>>>>>and I shudder to think how all that personal information could easily be misused, sold, lost or stolen.>>>>

    Read the terms of use and privacy policy. It's on site, bottom of every page.

    As far as the courts are concerned, I think our lawyers know a little more than you do chauffer6. Don't you think if these records had no merit it court we wouldn't be offering the service. They are admissible. The purpose isn't really for court though. It's for workers compensation, most claims don't go to litigation anyway.

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    >>>>>>>and I shudder to think how all that personal information could easily be misused, sold, lost or stolen.>>>>

    Read the terms of use and privacy policy. It's on site, bottom of every page.

    As far as the courts are concerned, I think our lawyers know a little more than you do chauffer6.


    I trust they structured the LLC operating agreement properly -- since the only value to customers in the business is it's long-term (20, 30, 40+ year) existence.

    And is there an Intellectual Property Escrow Agreement in place where this data is kept secure, in the event the enterprise ceases to exist? A dissolution of the LLC; a bankruptcy; or similiar event could leave customers out on a long plank, "Great, paid my $15 bucks for 20 years...didn't keep my own copies since I paid these guys, and they just folded..."

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    Just because we break stuff now and then -- people think we're stupid.
    I am a highly trained professional and can find my :: expletive deleted:: with either hand in various light conditions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalmatian190
    >>>>>>>and I shudder to think how all that personal information could easily be misused, sold, lost or stolen.>>>>

    Read the terms of use and privacy policy. It's on site, bottom of every page.

    As far as the courts are concerned, I think our lawyers know a little more than you do chauffer6.


    I trust they structured the LLC operating agreement properly -- since the only value to customers in the business is it's long-term (20, 30, 40+ year) existence.

    And is there an Intellectual Property Escrow Agreement in place where this data is kept secure, in the event the enterprise ceases to exist? A dissolution of the LLC; a bankruptcy; or similiar event could leave customers out on a long plank, "Great, paid my $15 bucks for 20 years...didn't keep my own copies since I paid these guys, and they just folded..."
    Hopefully, it won't be here in 20 weeks, no less 20 years. I would think that any intelligent FF or LEO would see through this scam in a heartbeat and walk away.

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    Just had a great idea....I can pay my $15, make up a bunch of fake incidents, then go to my WC board and claim they are trying to pull one over on me since their records won't match my "internet" report. I'll make a killing!
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    Just had a great idea....I can pay my $15, make up a bunch of fake incidents, then go to my WC board and claim they are trying to pull one over on me since their records won't match my "internet" report. I'll make a killing!
    Exactly. Which is why this service isn't worth the powder it would take to blow it to hell.

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