Week 1: The Scope

Week 1: The Scope of the Cancer Problem in the Fire Service 

Week 1:The first week of the Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month addresses the scope of the occupational cancer problem in the fire service. Occupational 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.). To get the most from this week, we recommend taking one day this week to conduct a Safety Stand Down. All resources are also available to review at your convenience. 

  • Personal Story: 
    • Firefighters battle a fearsome occupational hazard: Cancer: (New) CBS News report: Since 2002, almost two out of every three firefighters who died on the job died of cancer, as smoke from today’s fires produces an ever-more toxic brew of chemicals. But many first responders diagnosed with cancer are being denied workers’ comp benefits.
  • FEMA Webpage: IARC Reclassification (New):
    •  IARC Reclassification for Firefighters:
      • An International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) study has reclassified the occupation of firefighting to the highest hazard category: Group 1, “carcinogenic to humans.” The previous study, conducted by IARC in 2007, had classified firefighting as Group 2B, “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Note: Make sure you view the presentation in “Presenter Mode” to capture the instructor notes for the slides. (Updated for 2023) 

  • Podcast 1: Firefighters Attacking the Cancer Epidemic (FACE) Teams (New)

    Sam Eaton (Palm Beach County, FL Local 2928 [retired]) and Chris Bator (Metro-Broward, FL Local 3080) from the Florida Firefighters Safety and Health Collaborative discuss how cancer in the fire service has impacted their departments and how this led to the creation of Firefighters Attacking the Cancer Epidemic “FACE” Teams.

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