Wife of Firefighter with Cancer Pens Letter to Representatives Who Voted to Kill Protections for Firefighters

The following is a letter from Jill Baker, the the wife of Jason Baker, a firefighter with stage 4 cancer.

Dear Representatives–

I am asking you to reconsider your “no” vote on Senate Bill 72. In October 2016, my husband, Jason Baker, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. He is 43 years old and a non-smoker. His only risk factor is that he has been a firefighter for nearly 17 years with the City of Great Falls. As his wife of 21 years, I have been prepared for the day that he may become seriously injured or even die on the job. As a spouse, I know that our family will be taken care of if the worst were to happen on the job, or so I thought. At this point, there is NO occupational coverage or benefits for firefighters who get lung disease or cancer despite the research that shows that there is a significant increase in their risk from occupational exposure.

By voting NO on this bill today you have said to our family, including our 11 and 15 year old children, that his sacrifice doesn’t matter to you. That our family’s struggle doesn’t matter to you. I have listened to the hearings and heard your testimony. I heard you talk about how you “love” and “appreciate” firefighters, but your words are empty without action. Shame on you for putting politics before the lives of public servants. I am most insulted by Chairman Noland’s inference that firefighters know what they are getting into by signing up for the job. In other words, you are saying that my husband deserves to get cancer and there is nothing that you are willing to do about it. Even your reluctant no’s are still no’s. There is a funding source for this bill so your fiscal argument against it is empty. However, you have a chance to redeem yourselves by reconsidering your vote.

Jill Baker

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  1. Dear Jill and Jared Baker,
    I am appalled at our legislator for treating our firefighters in such a totally disrespectful way. I have posted your letter on my Facebook page with my comments expression my opinion. I do not understand the lack of compassion with these people nor do I ever want to understand their point of view. I am, however sending my prayers, and my love as you travel this journey. If you have a fundraising page I would gladly contribute to it. With my deepest respect to all of you.

  2. Republicans are really good at giving admirable lip service to firefighters but as a rule never vote for legislation that would support them in their work. I’ve observed this personally over the years as a firefighter and now retired firefighter. It was our illustrious Republican legislature led by Phil Batt that decided to cut the promised pensions of Idaho firefighters back in the late 70’s. The small group of firefighters had to fight the state a costly battle all the way to the supreme court winning in every lower court on the way. Republicans like to pretend they admire firefighters but most really don’t care.

  3. Well I guess Chairman Noland better hope his house never catches fire. What can you say other than it’s shameful!!! I’m sorry that the Baker’s have to go through this.

  4. Wow- very poignant and true- Ms. Baker has my vote and Chairman Noland and does not unless he reconsiders as well as Represenatives Ricci, Anderson, Fitzgerald, Grubbs, Gunderson, Loge, Rosendale, Trebas and Zolnikov. This is about doing the right thing.

  5. Jill Baker could not have said it better. Mark Noland could not have been more disrespectful of those who wake up every day with the sole intention of saving lives and property at all risk

  6. Im sitting herr crying after hearing how they voted in Helena today. Im glad you wrote the letter!
    where would we be without firefighters!
    thanks to your husband for his work and sacrifices

  7. The height of hypocrisy is dizzying. Republicans tout their absolute praise for helping those that choose to put their lives on the line …. this is so they can tell themselves they’re good christians and sleep at night. Their time is coming. There is no room for the heartless party line of this hateful and greedy bunch of hypocrites. Vote them out !

  8. I can’t even believe the insanity of this. Jason is an amazing person who has put himself and family before others, so many times. I have known him since we went to camp growing up in the summers. He is an amazing human being, and for his service, even before his own family, we give nothing. Let’s get back to where Montana cared about it’s own. I am so sorry, Bakers. Thanks for the much needed letter, Jill.

  9. This is a disgrace. Take it to the people and get rid of these self-serving politicians. This hero and his family deserve our support! Shame on all of you!

  10. Such a sad day when we can’t support firefighters who often volunteer their time to protect all of us! And then to have the audacity to say they know what they are getting into when they take n this job!? Can you imagine applying that same logic to other professions, like police officers, deputies who check on your safety, etc.? What if they had a fire and no one showed up? Please re-consider your vote…that is the least we can do for those who risk their lives for others! This is not a party line issue; it’s doing the right thing issue!!

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. These two Legislators lied to Great Falls Firefighters. Here’s the proof. – People's Voice
  2. Representative Trebas: “Presumptive Will Never Get Through” with a Republican Majority – People's Voice

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