Updates from the front lines in the fight against occupational cancer in the fire service.

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
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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