Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month
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Firefighter occupational cancer is the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths in the fire service.
At the 2022 IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial, almost 75% of the names added to the wall (348 out of 469) were members who had died from occupational cancer.
In partnership with the IAFF, January is designated as Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month to provide fire fighters the necessary tools and guidance to develop life-saving protocols for cancer prevention and to support those with a cancer diagnosis within their departments.
Bringing increased public awareness to occupational cancer in the fire service will help generate greater legislative support for states and provinces to establish presumptive disabilities for all cancers affecting fire fighters.
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The content on this website is designed to engage our nation’s firefighters and their fire departments in a mass effort to prevent and reduce their risk of occupational cancer. Our curriculum contains information and tools that educate firefighters and raise awareness about why cancer cases are on the rise in the fire service and how to limit their day-to-day exposures to carcinogens.
Each week of the month focuses on a specific theme. Each theme builds upon the previous week’s theme. By the end of the month, firefighters will have the knowledge and resources to understand how firefighters are exposed to carcinogens, what happens when they are exposed, how to prevent exposures, make culture changes in their department and assist those who are diagnosed with cancer.
- Week 1 (1/2-1/7): Scope of Cancer in the Fire Service
- Week 2 (1/9-1/14): Scientific Research Related to Occupational Cancer
- Week 3 (1/16-1/21): Occupational Cancer Prevention
- Week 4 (1/23-1/28): Survivorship, Leadership and Culture Change
We encourage you to use content from each week to hold weekly a safety stand down in your department. Use the provided tools to engage firefighters in discussions on steps they can take to reduce the risk of occupational cancer.
The resources for each week include informative factsheets, relevant research, ready-to-present PowerPoint presentations, survivor stories of those who want to share what they have learned to affect change, podcasts from industry leadership, and social media graphics. It also includes all the information you need to help your department navigate through the content and focus on topics of interest. In addition to weekly content, 33 training briefs can be used as discussion tools to educate firefighters on reducing the risk of occupational cancer.
Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month takes place in January, but these resources should be used throughout the year. We encourage you to check back frequently for more information about specific topics.