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WA Firefighter with Terminal Cancer Can’t Get Worker’s Comp Because He Was Volunteer
Dec 07, 2023

Ellen Dennis
The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.

Nov. 25—Ron Cato spent 30 years of his life marching into burning buildings, rescuing people from smoldering rubble and speeding down streets in a fire engine, sirens blaring.

He did it to help people on what were sometimes the worst days of their lives.

“People have really bad days,” he said. “I don’t like to see that. I like to help them have a better day. I’ve had lots of times where I’ve been able to do that. And some days they’ve died. It goes hot and cold.”

With months left to live, the firefighter has one final mission.

In September, he was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer often linked to the smoke and chemicals to which firefighters are regularly exposed. A doctor told Cato he has18 months to live.

Open the link to read the story originally printed in the Spokesman-Review and in Fire Engineering

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