Occupational disease disability pension. The General Assembly finds that service in the fire department requires fire fighters in times of stress and danger to perform unusual tasks; that fire fighters are subject to exposure to extreme heat or extreme cold in certain seasons while performing their duties; that they are required to work in the midst of and are subject to heavy smoke fumes, and carcinogenic, poisonous, toxic or chemical gases from fires; and that these conditions exist and arise out of or in the course of employment.
An active fire fighter with 5 or more years of creditable service who is found, pursuant to Section 4-112, unable to perform his or her duties in the fire department by reason of heart disease, stroke, tuberculosis, or any disease of the lungs or respiratory tract, resulting from service as a fire fighter, is entitled to an occupational disease disability pension during any period of such disability for which he or she has no right to receive salary.
Any active fire fighter who has completed 5 or more years of service and is unable to perform his or her duties in the fire department by reason of a disabling cancer, which develops or manifests itself during a period while the fire fighter is in the service of the fire department, shall be entitled to receive an occupational disease disability benefit during any period of such disability for which he or she does not have a right to receive salary. In order to receive this occupational disease disability benefit, (i) the type of cancer involved must be a type which may be caused by exposure to heat, radiation or a known carcinogen as defined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and (ii) the cancer must (and is rebuttably presumed to) arise as a result of service as a fire fighter.
A fire fighter who enters the service after August 27, 1971 shall be examined by one or more practicing physicians appointed by the board. If the examination discloses impairment of the heart, lungs or respiratory tract, or the existence of any cancer, the fire fighter shall not be entitled to the occupational disease disability pension unless and until a subsequent examination reveals no such impairment or cancer.