January Is Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month!
Research shows that fire fighters are more likely to be diagnosed with certain types of cancer than the general public – a trend that fire service organizations hope to reduce. Southern Marin Fire Protection District, an affiliate of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) are partnering to deliver targeted education about best practices and resources to prevent and reduce cancer among fire fighters during Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month in January.
The month-long campaign includes safety stand downs, training briefs and a focus on prevention and mitigation, including the scope of the cancer in the fire service, best practices for prevention and skills to help survivors of occupational cancer.
These topics are reinforced with online resources, such as daily training information and infographics that promote the program and underline the importance of the issue on social media, as well as podcasts addressing the important issues of prevention and documentation of exposures to carcinogens.
Fire fighter occupational cancer is the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths in the fire service. In 2019, more than 75% of the names of fire fighters added to the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Wall of Honor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, were of members who died from occupational cancer.
IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger and Firefighter Cancer Support Network Founder Micheal Dubron, a firefighter/paramedic with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, introduce January as Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month.
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