Fairburn (GA) Terminates Firefighter Recovering from Cancer

The city of Fairburn has terminated a firefighter recovering from cancer he may have contracted on the job, reports cbs46.com.

“I do feel a little bit betrayed by the city,” said Jason Trotter, 36, an eight-year veteran of the Fairburn Fire Department. “I know they’re within their legal rights but it doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.”

CBS46 first featured Trotter in its initial report in July on firefighters’ increased risk of developing cancer.

Trotter, who claimed to have no family history of cancer, said he eats right, doesn’t smoke and works out. He believes he may have gotten sick after responding to a call of a PCP lab explosion last year.

A husband and father of two, Trotter was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in January and immediately took a leave from work to undergo months of chemotherapy treatment. The treatment caused lung damage which has delayed doctors from giving Trotter the clearance to return to work. 

In an Oct. 17 letter, the city’s human resources director David J. Johnson wrote, “it is a hardship for the City to operate the Fire Department with an unfilled position.”  Johnson continued, “The city has made the decision that it must proceed with filling the position at the end of this month, which means that your employment will end at that time.” 

It’s a far different response than Fire Chief Jody Weller gave CBS46 investigative reporter Jeff Chirico back in July. 

In speaking about his support of Trotter at that time, Weller said, “what we need to do is wrap our arms around the family member and just do whatever we need to do to help them.”

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