Proposal now on the table to cover firefighters hurt in the line of duty

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BANGOR, Maine (AP) - A proposal in the U.S. Senate would make sure firefighters harmed in the line of duty are covered by federal worker's compensation.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware introduced the legislation Tuesday. They say the proposal would also apply to firefighters who contract some illnesses during their service.

Collins and Carper say the proposal takes on problems federal firefighters face when they try to prove their injuries took place in the line of duty.

The senators also say federal laws put the burden on federal firefighters to prove cancers and other diseases were the result of exposure on the job. Most state disability laws presume some such diseases are the result of work exposure.

Maine's independent Sen. Angus King is an original co-sponsor of the act.