The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) has marked Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month by raising awareness of the risk of occupational cancer among firefighters.
At the 2022 IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial, almost three quarters of the names added (348 out of 469) were of members who had died from occupational cancer.
In partnership with the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN), 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.
The IAFF said it hopes bringing increased public awareness to occupational cancer in the fire service will help generate greater legislative support for states and provinces to establish presumptive disabilities for all cancers affecting fire fighters.
The association has created an online resource designed to educate IAFF leaders, members, and their fire departments on why fire fighters are getting cancer and provide best practices on how to limit day-to-day exposures to carcinogens.
Each week will focus on a specific theme with the aim that by the end of January, members, locals, and fire departments will have the knowledge and resources to understand how fire fighters are exposed to carcinogens, what happens when they are exposed, how to prevent exposures, make culture changes in their department, and assist those who are diagnosed with cancer.
IAFF said: “All resources are available to review at your convenience, but we encourage you to hold a weekly safety stand down in your department. In addition to weekly content, the training briefs should be used as discussion tools to educate fire fighters on reducing the risk of occupational cancer.
“Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month takes place in January, but these resources can be shared throughout the year. We encourage you to check back frequently for more information about specific topics.”
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