We Help firefighters and their families cope with cancer
Since 2005, the nonprofit Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) has provided assistance and one-on-one mentoring to thousands of cancer-stricken firefighters and their families. FCSN also delivers extensive firefighter cancer awareness and prevention training nationwide.
Vision: To be the global leader in firefighter cancer support, awareness and education.
Mission: To assist firefighters and EMS providers and their immediate families diagnosed with cancer by providing badge to badge support, training and guidance.
Cancer is the most dangerous threat to firefighter health and safety today.
- Cancer caused 61 percent of the career firefighter line-of-duty deaths from January 1, 2002, to December 31, 2016, according to data from the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).
- Cancer caused 70 percent of the line-of-duty deaths for career firefighters in 2016.
- Firefighters have a 9 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer than the general U.S. population.
- Firefighters have a 14 percent higher risk of dying from cancer than the general U.S. population.
There’s little data about cancer among volunteer firefighters, and the U.S. Fire Administration’s firefighter fatality statistics do not include cancer-related deaths, but it’s a stark reality: Firefighting increases cancer risks significantly for every firefighter.
About the Firefighter Cancer Support Network
FCSN is a 501(c)(3) organization established by Los Angeles County Firefighter Paramedic Michael Dubron, a survivor of stage IV colon cancer. Today, FCSN’s key supporters and partners include the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), Firefighter Close Calls (FFCC), and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), among many other respected fire-service organizations. FCSN is a founding member of the Fire Service Occupational Cancer Alliance. We also work with the American Cancer Society and the Live Strong Foundation.
Now in our 16th year, FCSN has active operations in 44 states. In 2016, we expanded FCSN’s cancer-prevention training and launched our new train-the-trainer program. Of course, we’re continuing our primary focus, which is supporting firefighters and their families following a cancer diagnosis.
FCSN can start helping immediately following a cancer diagnosis with an FCSN cancer-support toolbox. FCSN’s signature toolbox, delivered free of charge, contains tested, proven resources to help firefighters and their families cope with the cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery phases. If you have received a cancer diagnosis, please call FCSN’s toll-free number – 1-866-994-FCSN (3276) – or simply visit our Request Assistance page.
Next, FCSN offers free badge-to-badge peer support to fire/EMS members and their immediate families. FCSN’s unique network includes more than 130 volunteer peer-support mentors—nearly all are firefighters and paramedics who are cancer survivors themselves. FCSN’s network also includes mentors for spouses and children. Many mentors started their relationship with FCSN seeking assistance for themselves. Now they’re giving back by helping others through the process.
what we do
Critical assistance for career or volunteer, active or retired ﬁreﬁghters, emergency medical service providers, and their immediate family members who have been diagnosed with cancer is provided through valuable and immediate post-diagnosis resources followed by unique 24-hour badge-to-badge mentorship from one of over 220 ﬁre-service expert mentors. Beyond the badge, our program offers similar support for caregivers and children as well.
FCSN Signature Toolbox
Within days of diagnosis, we deliver our free cancer-support toolbox which, in addition to being a daily reminder that no one ﬁghts alone, includes the Fireﬁghter’s Guide to Cancer Survivorship, that contains tested, proven resources to help ﬁreﬁghters and their families cope with and manage through their diagnosis, treatment, and recovery processes. Our guide was informed by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and created to provide easy access to the following information:
- medical appointments
- physical challenges
- mental strain and fatigue
- worker’s compensation
- caregiver support
- medical team
- journaling resources
Cancer Awareness & Prevention Education
FCSN has delivered our extensive cancer awareness and prevention training program to thousands of ﬁreﬁghters across America from the largest ﬁre-service events, including the Fire Department Instructors Conference, Fire–Rescue International, and the National Volunteer Fireﬁghter Council national conference to ﬁre departments of every size, both volunteer and career.
Research & Development
Widely hailed as a groundbreaking study and guidebook, the 2013 FCSN White Paper, Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service, continues to be an important resource for individuals and ﬁre departments nationwide to expose, reduce and manage cancer risk. The useful, 11 immediate actions, has been implemented across the country to help protect ﬁreﬁghters from occupational cancer. FCSN continues to actively engage with experts to participate in engineering and medical research studies. Additionally, FCSN continues to be a resource for leading cancer organizations, physicians, research scientists and institutes to gather and report the prominence of cancer amongst members of the ﬁre service.
Advocacy & Data Reporting
FCSN staff provides information speciﬁc to cancer in ﬁreﬁghters. In particular, types most prominent, demographic information, statistical data related to geographical incidence, and other relevant data points. FCSN also works directly with many of the leading cancer physicians, research scientists and institutes to gather and report the prevalence of cancer amongst members of the ﬁre service.
Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month
In partnership with the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, the IAFF has designated January 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.