Presumption of coverage for disability from diseases for certain fire fighters.
There is a presumption that a claim for compensation for disability as a result of the diseases described in (b) of this section for the occupations listed under (b) of this section is within the provisions of this chapter. This presumption of coverage may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence. The evidence may include the use of tobacco products, physical fitness and weight, lifestyle, hereditary factors, and exposure from other employment or nonemployment activities.
For a fire fighter covered under AS 23.30.243,
there is a presumption that a claim for compensation for disability as a result of the following diseases is within the provisions of this chapter:
respiratory disease; cardiovascular events that are experienced within 72 hours after exposure to smoke, fumes, or toxic substances; and
the following cancers:
- primary brain cancer;
- malignant melanoma;
- non-Hodgkin's lymphoma;
- bladder cancer;
- ureter cancer;
- kidney cancer; and
- prostate cancer;
notwithstanding AS 23.30.100(a), following termination of service, the presumption established in (1) of this subsection extends to the fire fighter for a period of three calendar months for each year of requisite service but may not extend more than 60 calendar months following the last date of employment;
the presumption established in (1) of this subsection applies only to an active or former fire fighter who has a disease described in (1) of this subsection that develops or manifests itself after the fire fighter has served in the state for at least seven years and who (A) was given a qualifying medical examination upon becoming a fire fighter that did not show evidence of the disease; (B) was given an annual medical exam during each of the first seven years of employment that did not show evidence of the disease; and (C) with regard to diseases described in (1)(C) of this subsection, demonstrates that, while in the course of employment as a fire fighter, the fire fighter was exposed to a known carcinogen, as defined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer or the National Toxicology Program, and the carcinogen is associated with a disabling cancer.
The presumption set out in this section applies only to a fire fighter who, at a minimum, holds a certificate as a fire fighter I by the Department of Public Safety under fire fighter testing and certification standards established by the department under authority of AS 18.70.350(1) or other applicable statutory authority.
The provisions of (b)(1)(A) and (B) of this section do not apply to a fire fighter who develops a cardiovascular or lung condition and who has a history of tobacco product use as established under (e)(2) of this section.
The department shall, by regulation, define
- for purposes of (b)(1) - (3) of this section, the type and extent of the medical examination that is needed to eliminate evidence of the disease in an active or former fire fighter; and
- for purposes of (d) of this section, the nature and quantity of a person's tobacco product use; the standards adopted under this paragraph shall use or be based on existing medical research.
In this section, "fire fighter" has the meaning given in AS 09.65.295.
The presumption of coverage established by this Act applies to claims made on or after the effective date of this Act, even if the exposure leading to the occupational disease occurred before the effective date of this Act.