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.”
- IARC Reclassification for Firefighters:
- Mortality and Cancer Incidence in a Pooled Cohort of United States Firefighters This study took place between 1950-2009 and included nearly 30,000 professional fire fighters 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.
- Circadian rhythm in prostate cancer: time to take notice of the clock: (New)
- Circadium Rythm and Cancer Scientific article how sleep disruption of the circadian rhythm plays a critical role in tumorigenesis of many kinds of cancers, including prostate cancer
- Research on Elevated Cancer types for Firefighters (New) New Research which has been done on cancer types found to be elevated in the fire service.
- Harvard sleep Study with first responders:
- Harvard Medical School’s “Fatigue Management in First Responders” The cumulative effects of sleep loss and sleep disorders represents an under-recognized public health problem and have been associated with a wide range of health consequences including an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, and stroke.
- Educational Presentation #1 (Updated for 2023):
- The Scope of the Cancer Problem in the Fire Service: A 26-slide PowerPoint presentation describing the scope and trends for the occupational cancer trends in fire fighters.
Note: Make sure you view the presentation in “Presenter Mode” to capture the instructor notes for the slides. (Updated for 2023)
- Prevention Practices:
- 11 Actions to Protect Yourself : Infographic on the 11 immediate actions that firefighters should take to protect themselves, their families, and their fellow firefighters.
- Wellness and Fitness Programs : IAFF Wellness-Fitness Initiative The International Association of Fire Fighters, in cooperation with the International Association of Fire Chiefs, committed to an unprecedented endeavor by collaborating with 10 of North America’s finest fire departments to build a stronger fire service by strengthening our foundation – the fire fighter.
- Annual Physical Exams: (New)
- Dr. Michael G. Hamrock is a former firefighter and department physician for the Boston Fire Department and now provides primary care to many Massachusetts firefighters at Steward St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston, MA.Dr Hamrock developed this form for Firefighters to take to their primary care physicians.
- Recommended Firefighter Physical Exams
- Recommended Female Firefighter Physical Exams
- Proper Nutrition: Harvard University’s Stefanos Kales’ “Feeding America’s Bravest” and the Mediterranean Diet
- Leadership & Survivorship Article: “Chief, I Have Cancer” CEO of FCSN Bryan Frieders discusses the importance of being prepared as a leader to properly support colleagues diagnosed with cancer.
- Video Resource:
- Firefighter Cancer Support Network 2023 (New) (1:40 runtime) FCSN 2023
- PBS News hour video on the Occupational Cancer problem: (New) (9:35 runtime) PBS Firefighters at a higher risk of cancer
- Early Detection Video AAD/Dr. Kannler (New) 2:58 runtime: Dr Kannler Cares
- Daniel Chavez Survivor Story (New) (Video 16:49 runtime)
- Training Briefs:
- Survivor Stories:
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.