FCSN announces new officers, board of directors members

Firefighter cancer nonprofit adopts bylaws, delivers mentor, fundraising training during annual meeting

Burbank, California, October 31, 2014 – The Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) elected new officers and board members on October 17, 2014, during its annual meeting in Long Beach, California. The 2013-2014 board and FCSN representatives from 15 states approved updated bylaws on October 16, 2014. The updated bylaws added the provision for two FCSN state director board seats, among other changes. All board members are elected to serve two-year terms.

Bryan Frieders, a division chief for the San Gabriel (CA) Fire Department, was elected president. He previously served on the FCSN board as director of communications; he remains FCSN’s liaison to the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section. Frieders has more than 20 years of fire/EMS experience, including training and emergency management assignments. He earned a master’s degree in public administration and is an accomplished commercial instrument-rated pilot with 1,150 hours of flight time.

Trey Kelso, immediate past fire chief for the Laurel (MD) Volunteer Fire Department, was elected treasurer. He previously served on the FCSN board as secretary, and he continues his role as FCSN’s Maryland state director. Kelso is a CPSE-designated fire officer and safety officer for the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department. He is an instructor for the Maryland Fire Rescue Institute’s management track, and he earned a master’s degree in business administration.

New members elected to the board include Steven Westcott, Steve Fisher, Tony Cruz, Curtis Dunn, and Timothy Elliott.

Steven Westcott was elected secretary, and he continues his role as FCSN’s Ohio state director. Westcott joined the Perkins Township (OH) Fire Department in 2001 and served for seven years. He was 25 when diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Westcott is a two-time cancer survivor; he’s been an FCSN mentor since 2009. He received a bone-marrow transplant and has been cancer-free for five years. He teaches at the Ohio Fire Academy and at Lorain County Community College. He earned an EMT-P certification and a master’s in industrial and organizational psychology.

Steve Fisher was elected Western region vice president, and he continues his role as FCSN’s Oregon state director. Fisher, an engineer/paramedic with Tualatin Valley (OR) Fire and Rescue, is a testicular cancer survivor. Fisher started his fire service career as a volunteer in Colorado; he also worked in south Florida before moving to Oregon. He has served on the Tualatin Valley hazmat team and currently is a member of the safety committee.

Tony Cruz was elected to one of the two new state director board positions, and he continues his role as FCSN’s New York state director. He retired from the FDNY, where he was assigned to Res2cue, and is the fomer fire chief for the Smithtown (NY) Fire Department. Cruz launched FCSN’s New York operation in 2008 with fellow prostate cancer survivor Ron Barz. Cruz now works more than 40 hours a week to further FCSN’s support, awareness, and prevention missions. (The state director positions open on a staggered cycle; the second state director board position will be up for election next year.)

Curtis Dunn was elected events vice president, and he continues his role as FCSN’s Texas state director. Dunn, a second-generation firefighter, retired at the rank of lieutenant after a 36-year career with the Arlington (TX) Fire Department. He has been affiliated with FCSN for seven years. Dunn also is the district vice president for the Texas State Association of Firefighters.

Timothy Elliott was elected communication vice president, and he continues his role as FCSN’s grant program director. Elliott, former communication director for the International Association of Fire Chiefs, has more than 20 years of experience writing, producing, and deploying training programs and resources for the fire-service and medical communities.

Board members Debbie Pike, Keith Tyson, and Donna MacDonald continued their elected terms.

Debbie Pike, FCSN’s wellness coordinator since 2012, fields all incoming requests for assistance from fire/EMS personnel and their families. She is a cancer survivor, and her husband is a Los Angeles County firefighter. Pike oversees FCSN’s signature toolbox program. She also leads more than 130 mentors who provide peer support to fellow firefighters following a cancer diagnosis. Pike completed training for the peer-support mentoring program at Long Beach Memorial Hospital in Long Beach, California.

Keith Tyson, FCSN’s education vice president, delivers FCSN’s firefighter cancer awareness and prevention training nationwide. He leads FCSN’s research efforts, including initiatives with the Florida Professional Firefighters and the University of Miami. Tyson retired after 34 years as a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue paramedic/firefighter; within six months, he was diagnosed with prostate and skin cancers. He launched FCSN’s Florida operation in 2009.

Donna MacDonald, FCSN’s Eastern regional vice president, has served for 13 years as a firefighter with the Providence (RI) Fire Department. She is a peer fitness trainer, and she participates in the department’s honor guard and employee assistance program. MacDonald was diagnosed with bone cancer in her sternum in 2006. She has undergone four surgeries since then, most recently in August 2013. She began as FCSN’s Rhode Island state director in 2009; she was elected to the board in 2013.

Mike Dubron, FCSN’s founder, is a firefighter/paramedic with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, where he currently is assigned to flight operations. Dubron received a colon cancer diagnosis at 39. Dubron launched FCSN in 2005. Today, FCSN delivers its vital support, awareness, and prevention resources to fire/EMS personnel and their families nationwide.

Immediate Past President Dan Crow continues his service as FCSN’s California state director. Jeff Howe, a battalion chief for the Burbank (CA) Fire Department, stepped down as treasurer in October to accept a promotion and responsibility for department-wide training. He and his wife, Eileen Howe, continue as FCSN annual meeting and West Coast gala event coordinators. The Howes also manage FCSN’s online store. Immediate Past Western Regional VP Eric Monroe continues as FCSN’s Washington state director. Garry Briese, who stepped down as FCSN executive director in September, now serves as senior advisor to the board. Tim McDonnell, who stepped down as FCSN’s events director in June, continues his service as FCSN’s Indiana state director.

The annual meeting featured a number of training sessions as part of the inaugural FCSN National Leadership Summit. Robert T. Scott, PhD., director of the LA City Fire Department Behavioral Health & Wellness Program, presented peer-support training titled “How to Handle the Difficult Questions Coping with Firefighter Cancer.” FCSN leaders Trey Kelso,Tony Cruz, and Amber Leizear delivered charitable fundraising case studies.

States represented during FCSN’s annual meeting included Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

FCSN announces new officers, board of directors members
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ABOUT FCSN

The FCSN provides timely assistance and one-on-one support to fire/EMS service members and their families after a cancer diagnosis, and it educates the fire/EMS service about cancer awareness, prevention, early detection and treatment options. The FCSN was founded in 2005 by LA County Fire Department FF/PM Mike Dubron (survivor of stage IV colon cancer) and was approved by the IRS in 2006 as a 501(c) 3 Charitable Foundation. FCSN is governed by an elected ten-member board of directors from across the country. firefightercancersupport.org

Media Contact Info

Timothy Elliot Frieders
Director of Communications
Firefighter Cancer Support Network
818-919-5430 mobile
telliot@fcsn.net

MCFRS Capt. Rick Triplett accepts FCSN leadership award

FCSN, Honeywell recognize Triplett for concept that led to national cancer-prevention initiative

Rockville, Maryland, October 9, 2014 – Cancer has become the most dangerous threat to the health and safety of America’s firefighters. Today, the nonprofit Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) presented Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service Capt. Rick Triplett with its Firefighter Cancer Prevention Leadership Award.

FCSN Secretary Trey Kelso made the presentation at MCFRS Station 23 in Rockville, Maryland. The accompanying letter from FCSN President Dan Crow praised Triplett’s innovative firefighter cancer prevention concept. “Your awareness of the significant cancer risks that all firefighters face prompted you to help your fellow firefighters mitigate those risks,” Crow wrote. “Your plan: Get your firefighters to wash their protective hoods once a week and thus reduce their exposure to carcinogens.”

Triplett’s concept led to FCSN’s national Wash-Your-Hood-Sunday (WYHS) initiative that launched last month. With gracious support from Honeywell First Responder Products, FCSN’s Wash-Your-Hood-Sunday initiative features full-color posters, hang tags, print ads in national fire service magazines. Those materials and an extensive social media and email campaign all reinforce one of the simplest, most-effective firefighter cancer prevention tactics: Wash your hood!

Triplett accepted a related certificate of appreciation and 10 new MaskMate hoods from Honeywell First Responder Products. Honeywell’s WYHS Facebook page is available at the following link:

http://tinyurl.com/HoneywellFBWYHS

Cancer is a growing threat to every firefighter. Multiple studies, including the United States Fire Administration and NIOSH cancer study released in 2013, have shown higher rates of multiple types of cancers in firefighters compared to the general American population.

“Our goal is to measurably change firefighter behavior and decision-making regarding line-of-duty exposure to carcinogens,” said FCSN Communications Director Bryan Frieders, a battalion chief with the San Gabriel (CA) Fire Department. “The firefighting environment has inherent carcinogenic risks, but there are simple, inexpensive ways to reduce those risks right now.” FCSN’s 2013 white paper, “Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service,” provides lifesaving details about recognizing and reducing firefighters’ cancer risks. It’s available as a free download from firefightercancersupport.org.

FCSN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2005 by Los Angeles County Firefighter/Paramedic Mike Dubron, a survivor of stage IV colon cancer. Today, FCSN’s objective is to provide timely assistance to all fire and EMS personnel and their family members who have been diagnosed with cancer. FCSN also develops and delivers cancer awareness, prevention, education, and outreach programs nationwide.

FCSN offers unique expertise through its national network of mentors – most of whom are cancer survivors themselves – and current or retired fire-service personnel who deliver FCSN’s comprehensive cancer awareness and prevention training.

MCFRS Capt. Rick Triplett accepts FCSN leadership award
[ Download PDF ]

ABOUT FCSN

The FCSN provides timely assistance and one-on-one support to fire/EMS service members and their families after a cancer diagnosis, and it educates the fire/EMS service about cancer awareness, prevention, early detection and treatment options. The FCSN was founded in 2005 by LA County Fire Department FF/PM Mike Dubron (survivor of stage IV colon cancer) and was approved by the IRS in 2006 as a 501(c) 3 Charitable Foundation. FCSN is governed by an elected ten-member board of directors from across the country. firefightercancersupport.org

Media Contact Info

Bryan Frieders
Director of Communications
Firefighter Cancer Support Network
(661) 904-5075
bfrieders@fcsn.net

Expanding the Fight Against Cancer in the Fire Service

FCSN receives FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant for cancer awareness, prevention, support

Burbank, California, September 11, 2014 – Cancer has become the most dangerous threat to the health and safety of America’s firefighters. The nonprofit Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) received a Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program – Fire Prevention and Safety Grant (AFG) to expand FCSN’s unique firefighter cancer awareness, prevention and support initiatives. FCSN will receive  $307,224.

“FEMA’s vital grant support will help FCSN implement our national firefighter cancer awareness and prevention pilot program including a robust train-the-trainer initiative,” said FCSN President Dan Crow. “The grant will also help us expand the badge-to-badge peer support we provide to fire and EMS personnel who have received cancer diagnoses.”

Multiple studies, including the United States Fire Administration and NIOSH cancer study released in 2013, have shown higher rates of multiple types of cancers in firefighters compared to the general American population. In 2012, the federal government announced a cancer monitoring and treatment program for 70,000 surviving firefighters, police officers and other first responders who were present at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon following the September 11, 2001, attacks. The announcement marked the first time the federal government formally recognized the link between firefighting and cancer.

“Our goal is to measurably change firefighter behavior and decision-making regarding line-of-duty exposure to carcinogens,” said FCSN Communications Director Bryan Frieders, a battalion chief with the San Gabriel (CA) Fire Department. “The firefighting environment has inherent carcinogenic risks, but there are simple, inexpensive ways to reduce those risks right now.” FCSN’s 2013 white paper, “Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service,” provides lifesaving details about recognizing and reducing firefighters’ cancer risks. It’s available as a free download from firefightercancersupport.org.

FCSN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2005 by Los Angeles County Firefighter/Paramedic Mike Dubron, a survivor of stage IV colon cancer. Today, FCSN’s objective is to provide timely assistance to all fire and EMS personnel and their family members who have been diagnosed with cancer. FCSN also develops and delivers cancer awareness, prevention, education, and outreach programs nationwide.

FCSN offers unique expertise through its national network of mentors – each a cancer survivor – and current or retired fire-service personnel who deliver FCSN’s comprehensive cancer awareness and prevention training.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in cooperation with the United States Fire Administration. FEMA awards Fire Prevention & Safety Grants (FP&S) grants to organizations recognized for their experience and expertise. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis to the applicants that most closely address the program’s priorities and demonstrate financial need. The program’s primary goal is to reduce injury and save lives by focusing on high-risk populations, including firefighters themselves.

Expanding the Fight Against Cancer in the Fire Service
[ Download PDF ]

ABOUT FCSN

The FCSN provides timely assistance and one-on-one support to fire/EMS service members and their families after a cancer diagnosis, and it educates the fire/EMS service about cancer awareness, prevention, early detection and treatment options. The FCSN was founded in 2005 by LA County Fire Department FF/PM Mike Dubron (survivor of stage IV colon cancer) and was approved by the IRS in 2006 as a 501(c) 3 Charitable Foundation. FCSN is governed by an elected ten-member board of directors from across the country. firefightercancersupport.org

Media Contact Info

Bryan Frieders
Director of Communications
Firefighter Cancer Support Network
(661) 904-5075
bfrieders@fcsn.net

FCSN Website Enhancement RFP

Firefighter Cancer Support Network Releases RFP for Website Enhancements

Burbank, Cal., Feb 28, 2014 — The Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, provides support to fire and EMS personnel and their families following a cancer diagnosis. FCSN also develops and delivers vital cancer prevention education and outreach programs.

FCSN is seeking proposals for the enhancement, modernization and hosting of its existing firefightercancersupport.org website. The project is funded for an immediate start upon award of the contract. The successful bidder will work in partnership with FCSN to build and maintain the new website functionality and supporting infrastructure by:

  • Enhancing the FCSN website design for a clear, responsive, mobile-friendly user experience across the broadest possible range of devices and browsers;
  • Implementing a modern, searchable Content Management System (CMS) with feature-rich elements that can be easily updated and maintained by FCSN personnel without vendor assistance;
  • Adding a Wide Area Network intranet with tiered-access user forums, a Knowledge Base library, and an Academy area for streaming and downloadable training modules;
  • Configuring the FCSN website for current best-practice search engine optimization, Google rank improvement, analytics, and security functionality;
  • More fully integrating FCSN’s existing social media presence (e.g., blog, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) with the website;
  • Integrating multiple components of a new nonprofit management system (e.g., DonorPerfect), including email news subscriptions with automated unsubscribe;
  • Adding easily configurable IMAP email accounts with robust (at least 2GB) storage per account for 50-100 FCSN leaders, coordinators, mentors and other volunteers;
  • Recommending a web/email hosting approach that provides a platform for desired features, including site backup and restore, plus future growth and cost efficiency;
  • Suggesting improvements based on bidder’s web design experience;
  • Maintaining the live website and implementing periodic updates (e.g., themes, plug-ins, APIs) and other enhancements in a development environment;
  • Providing user training for FCSN IT liaisons, leadership, and volunteers; and
  • Offering technical support options with clearly defined response and resolution times.

FCSN seeks an implementation approach that enables us to demonstrate rapid results and make continuous improvements based on feedback from pre-launch test groups. The bidder should recommend an approach that supports this objective. FCSN will make the final award to the bidder whose proposal is deemed to provide the best value.

FCSN Website Enhancement RFP
[ Download PDF ]

ABOUT FCSN

The FCSN provides timely assistance and one-on-one support to fire/EMS service members and their families after a cancer diagnosis, and it educates the fire/EMS service about cancer awareness, prevention, early detection and treatment options. The FCSN was founded in 2005 by LA County Fire Department FF/PM Mike Dubron (survivor of stage IV colon cancer) and was approved by the IRS in 2006 as a 501(c) 3 Charitable Foundation. FCSN is governed by an elected ten-member board of directors from across the country. firefightercancersupport.org

RFP Contact Info

Trey Kelso

Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service

Firefighter Cancer Support Network and Honeywell Join Together for the Fight

Burbank, Cal., Aug. 15, 2013 — Multiple studies have demonstrated statistically higher rates of various types of cancers in firefighters compared to the general American population. In an effort to help address the alarming rate of cancer in the fire service, the Firefighter Cancer Support Network has published an industry white paper that provides useful information regarding the risks firefighters face during the course of their duties, and also offers practical tips for minimizing their exposure to cancer-causing substances.

In April 2013, the Firefighter Cancer Support Network invited a group of experts to Indianapolis to participate in a working session to develop the white paper Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service. The participants came from a diverse group of legal, medical and social research communities as well as key members of the fire service. In particular, two of the firefighters who participated are cancer survivors, which gave valuable insight and validation to the development of this extremely relevant document. Interestingly, it turned out that every workshop participant knew firefighters who either currently have cancer or have died as a result of occupational cancer.

“Cancer is a looming potential health issue for each and every firefighter, and it is the most dangerous and unrecognized threat to the health and safety of our nation’s firefighters,” said FCSN President Dan Crow. ”FCSN is honored to be able to partner with industry experts to provide this important information to the nation’s fire service.”

The white paper explains the approach to identifying risks associated with cancer in the fire service, some effective ways of dealing with employees diagnosed with cancer, and, most important, standard methods of reducing the risk of cancer during the course of duty. These prevention tips include wearing the SCBA during all phases of the overhaul process, decontaminating PPE at the fire scene before returning it to service, undergoing wellness exams annually, and wearing sunscreen when in training or when prolonged outdoor sun exposure is anticipated, to name just a few. To view the full report, go to www.FCSN.net.

“This white paper will get the attention of every firefighter, career or volunteer, and it will help focus the efforts of national fire service organizations on firefighter cancer,” said Claire Miller, vice president of marketing, Honeywell First Responder Products. “Most important, this report includes some practical, easy-to-implement tips that each firefighter can take to reduce their risk.”

Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service
[ Download PDF ]

ABOUT FCSN

The FCSN provides timely assistance and one-on-one support to fire/EMS service members and their families after a cancer diagnosis, and it educates the fire/EMS service about cancer awareness, prevention, early detection and treatment options. The FCSN was founded in 2005 by LA County Fire Department FF/PM Mike Dubron (survivor of stage IV colon cancer) and was approved by the IRS in 2006 as a 501(c) 3 Charitable Foundation. FCSN is governed by an elected ten-member board of directors from across the country. firefightercancersupport.org

Media Contact Info

Bryan Frieders
Director of Communications
Firefighter Cancer Support Network
(661) 904-5075
bfrieders@fcsn.net

PGFD Leading the Way in Its Support Against Breast Cancer

As you know, October 1st marked the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department (PGFD) is kicking off their “Wave of Pink” today, Friday October 5th, 2012. The Firefighter Cancer Support Network Maryland Chapter would like to thank those that are directly involved in this effort, for their continued hard work and dedication to this campaign!

PGFD is working with the Prince George’s County Health Department to help fund the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program to help citizens and residents afford mammograms. The funds raised by the sales of the pink t-shirts are going to this program. The department is also promoting awareness with a pink wrapped Engine, from station 30, to promote Breast Cancer Awareness. What a great way to promote Awareness while responding to calls or have it on display at events, etc.

The Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) would like to recognize: Vicky Smeltzer-Hosselrode and her husband Tom Hasselrode for all of their leg work for the shirt design and printing, Christine Becker and Rebecca Richardson, Vicky and Tom’s support staff, IAFF Local 1619 Executive Rep. Brandon Goff for assisting with the arrangements for the wrapping of Engine from station 30, Fire Chief Marc Bashoor for his continued support of these types of initiatives. I am proud to say that these individuals certainly follow the FCSN mission of “Together we can.”

Congratulations to all on a job well done and thank you for promoting awareness! Be proud of what you are doing and be proud of what you have done! Today is a great day for PGFD, the citizens of Prince George’s County, and those fighting the battle, to make a stand against Cancer!

PGFD Leading the Way in Its Support Against Breast Cancer
[ Download PDF ]

ABOUT FCSN

The objective of the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) is to provide timely assistance to all fire service members and their families in the event of cancer diagnosis.

We maintain and continuously update a roster of mentors who have personal experience with many types of cancers who will personally guide you through the process of dealing with your specific illness. In addition to our mentor program, we are always in need of volunteers to assist us by helping to support our various committees, specialized task programs, member support activities and specialized events we are asked to attend.

The FCSN also provides awareness to fire service members and their families about the importance of cancer prevention and screening by coordinating educational opportunities with various health programs.

We do not provide legal or medical advice but can provide assistance and guidance for other support options such as behavioral health services, fire service organizations, Fire Service Chaplains, and other cancer support programs.

Media Contact Info

Trey Kelso
Maryland Regional Director
Phone 410-996-FCSN (3276)
Mobile 443-865-1140