Firefighter occupational cancer is the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths in the fire service. In 2022, almost 75% of the fire fighters added to the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial 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.
Each week focuses on a specific theme. By the end of the month, 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.
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 earn more and more and are better equipped to introduce prevention practices to reduce our risk of developing occupational cancer.
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