Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month
The month of January is designated Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month. Each week this month will have a theme that will help make the public more aware of the risk firefighters are put up against and to teach active firefighters how they could be more safe and aware.
Current Week: Week 4
Week 1: The Scope of the Cancer Problem in the Fire Service
The first week of the Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month addresses why cancer is the number-one line-of-duty death in the fire service. Additionally, the content defines cancer, explains the scope of occupational cancer in the fire service, and identifies carcinogens, occupational exposures, and other chemicals found in products of combustion (e.g. smoke, etc.)
Personal Story: Listen to Ralf Garcia's wife discuss the firefighter's cancer diagnosis, his untimely death, and the impact it has had on their family. Click here to hear her story.
Research Study: This study took place between 1950-2009 and included nearly 30,000 professional firefighters from departments in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Chicago. This research is the first of its kind to reveal the evidence of firefighting and an increased risk of solid cancers and mesothelioma. Click here to read the study.
Week 2: Scientific Research Related to Occupational Cancer
With an understanding of cancer in the fire service, use this week to explore scientific research that identifies the link between occupational exposures and cancer rates among firefighters.
Personal Story: This is the story of our brother Glenn Preston of the Boston Fire Department who was diagnosed with occupational cancer at age 39. Click here to hear his story.
Research Study: The results of this research confirm previous findings of an elevated risk for multiple myeloma among firefighters. In addition, a probable association with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, prostate, and testicular cancer was demonstrated. Click here to read the study.
Week 3: Prevention, Education and Best Practices
Turn knowledge into action. Cancer is a big issue facing the fire service, but you can prevent or limit your exposure to carcinogens. This week addresses best practices that should be followed on the fire ground, at the station, and in your personal lives.
Cancer Prevention in Action: FDNY shares their awareness and education on the risk of cancer and how they are protecting themselves on and off the fire ground. Click here to watch.
Research Paper: This study helps provide a larger understanding of pathways of exposure that are associated with firefighting and the measures that can be implemented to reduce exposures. Click here to read the study.
Week 4: Leadership, Survivorship, and Culture Change
Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month is nearing the end, but the work does not stop! Week four helps guide you through how to support people who have been diagnosed with cancer and provide resources to assist with organizational culture change that favors cancer prevention practices and how to get support from leadership.
- Personal Story: "When I Retire" Boston Fire Department Recruits talk about their future. Click here to watch.
- Research Paper: This study is to show how leaders in organizations can change how well firefighters follow decontamination protocols. Click here to read the study.
- Survivor Story: Kyle O'Neil shares his story of how he battled cancer and what he wished he had done. Click here to watch.
Page Last Updated: Mar 16, 2021 (11:10:52)