Bob Joseph/WNBF News [file][/caption]The New York State Senate okays a measure to expand medical coverage to firefighters who suffer illness connected to fighting fires.

Expanded health coverage for all firefighters, especially those who responded to the collapse of the World Trade Center in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, has long been pushed by the Firefighters Association of New York State.

Supporters in the Senate say the men and women who respond to fire calls are often exposed to highly toxic materials and there are elevated rates of cancer among firefighters.

The legislation expands existing coverage under the Volunteer Firefighters Benefit Law to include cancer of the digestive, hematological, lymphatic, urinary, prostate, neurological breast and reproductive systems or melanoma.

The measure now goes to the Assembly.