Collier County first responder getting help for medical bills

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Pedro Canas has served the people of Collier County for 16 years as a first responder.

Canas was a paramedic at first, but for the last seven years, he has also been a firefighter.

Canas has been off the job since December, initially due to a kidney cancer diagnosis and then after it spread to his lungs.

Initially, the county denied him cancer benefits; however, they’ve since said they will cover him.

“I’m trying to get better from the second surgery. As you know, they removed part of my lung, the process being slow and faster than the kidney; the kidney took me a while to get better. This time, I’m just, you know, just getting better, day by day,” said Canas.

An email from Collier EMS Chief Tabatha Butcher last week stated they are going to provide him all the benefits he is entitled to.

“They have never told me anything concrete yet. I have never heard from anybody that it is approved,” said Canas. “One of the benefits is an initial check that they give you to help with general expenses, and I haven’t gotten that check yet.”

WINK News reached out to Butcher, who said they notified the EMS union that the county would make a payment to Canas. They said they will process the paperwork for the check early next week.

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