Fire fighter occupational cancer is the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths in the fire service. At the 2022 IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial, almost 75 percent of the names added to the wall (348 out of 469) were 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.
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 content on the website is designed to engage fire fighters and their fire departments in a mass effort to prevent and reduce their risk of occupational cancer. The curriculum contains information and tools that educate fire fighters and raise awareness about why cancer cases are on the rise in the fire service and how to limit their day-to-day exposures to carcinogens.
Each week of the month focuses on a specific theme. Each theme builds upon the previous week’s theme. By the end of the month, fire fighters 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.
We encourage you to use content from each week to hold weekly a safety stand down in your department. Use the provided tools to engage fire fighters in discussions on steps they can take to reduce the risk of occupational cancer.
The resources for each week include informative factsheets, relevant research, ready-to-present PowerPoint presentations, survivor stories of those who want to share what they have learned to affect change, podcasts from industry leadership and social media graphics. It also includes all the information you need to help your department navigate through the content and focus on topics of interest. In addition to weekly content, 33 training briefs can 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 should be used throughout the year. We encourage you to check back frequently for more information about specific topics. Visit: www.firefightercancersupport.org
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