WASHINGTON, D.C. — Occupational cancer is now the leading cause of death among firefighters, surpassing heart disease. The International Assoc. of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) are committed to reversing this trend to save more firefighters’ lives.
During Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month, IAFF and FCSN will partner to deliver targeted education and best practices and resources to reduce the impact of cancer on firefighters.
The month-long campaign includes safety stand-downs, fact sheets, podcasts, survivor stories, and training briefs. Materials focus on the scope of the cancer problem, best practices for prevention, leadership tactics to encourage prevention, and skills to help cancer survivors and departments reduce their risk of occupational cancer.
Topics are reinforced through online resources, such as daily training information and infographics that promote the program on social media and podcasts addressing important cancer topics and the latest research.
“Cancer is the leading cause of death among firefighters, accounting for more than 65% of the line-of-duty deaths added to the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Wall of Honor each year,” IAFF General President Edward Kelly said. “We must educate ourselves and do everything we can to prevent occupational cancer. Together, the IAFF and the FCSN are dedicated to do whatever it takes to keep firefighters healthy on and off the job.”
FCSN CEO Bryan Frieders added that, “as we continue to learn more about the link between firefighting and cancer, it is more important than ever that we take steps to minimize the risk firefighters face every single day. The science around firefighter exposures is constantly changing, but with continued research, we learn more and more and are better equipped to introduce prevention practices to reduce our risk of developing occupational cancer.”