Recommended Actions Related to Reducing the Known Risk of Cancer in FireFighters
1. Increase Fire Service Awareness of Cancer Health & Wellness
- Health and wellness programs for on and off duty times, importance of use of PPE equipment and importance of proper decontamination of personnel equipment and fire apparatus.
- Proper donning and use of PPE equipment, with a focus on reducing exposure to known and unknown carcinogens
- There is currently no national database to report or collect possible exposures to carcinogens, this data can be helpful in future interventions and prevention guidelines.
- Many departments and firefighters throughout the country are ignorant to the fact that they are at and increased risk for many cancers, due to their service. We owe it to these public servants to get the word out.
- Education of the fire service of the known carcinogens in their Fire Service Facility (diesel and gasoline exhaust and remnants of carcinogens from non-properly decontaminated equipment) and the importance of proper air ventilation in these facilities.
- Recommended procedures involve turnout gear removal, isolation and cleaning of PPE; equipment cleaning and decontamination; medical monitoring; and re-hydration.
- Advocate for the NFPA and government agencies to research and develop proper standards and procedures to assist with Fire Fighter Cancer Prevention.
- While certain states have passed legislation mandating Worker’s Compensation Benefits to firefighters more can be done the the National legislature and in many states.
Firefighter Cancer Alliance is a program service of the Volunteer Firefighter Alliance, a 501c3 organization