Cancer Amongst Firefighters

Cancer Amongst Firefighters

According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a firefighter has a 29% higher risk of contracting various types of cancer than the rest of the US population. They have a 1.39 chance higher of developing skin cancer and are 1.31 times more likely to be diagnosed with brain cancer in America alone. The question arises: what needs to change and how? Identifying their key needs and raising awareness about this critical issue will play a key role in promoting the health of our firefighters today—because their well-being and health has been in the background too long.

Fire Services across various continents have begun to realize the scope and magnitude of carcinogenic exposure to firefighters. A white paper printed by the FCSN (Firefighter Cancer Support Network) outlines extensive studies conducted which provide much needed knowledge and insight as to today’s new challenges faced by firefighters.

After the flames die and the fire has been quenched, the toxins from fumes and soot linger on the surface of each firefighter’s personal protective equipment, masks and skin. Treating contaminated materials after the event of a fire plays a critical role in protecting their health and well-being.

Personal protective equipment needs to be properly and thoroughly cleaned and handled in a safe and appropriate manner so as not to spread potential toxins to other people via transportation vehicles, fire stations, or even their homes.

And as part of our complete solution portfolio, we address the needs for indirect self-protection against exposure at the post-incident phase. Maintaining equipment is the only option to diminish contamination from PPE and further spreading of toxins. In addition, demand has also increased for new processes which emphasize better asset management, safe cleaning processes, more frequent testing of equipment. Due to the higher frequency of maintenance effective and efficient post-incident solutions have become pivotal tool have become pivotal tools towards a healthy working environment in the Fire Services.

It is therefore fair to conclude, that a professional firefighter does not need to be portrayed as “dirty and sooty”, but as someone who dons clean personal protective equipment and conscientiously applies all the necessary safe-handling workflow routines so as to save our lives as well as saving their own lives. We help to fight the battle against cancer in the line of duty—Dräger firefighting solutions, services, and trainings for pre-incident, incident and post-incident phase.

Dräger. Technology for Life® 

Dräger is an international leader in the fields of medical and safety technology. Our products protect, support and save lives. Founded in 1889, Dräger generated revenues of around EUR 2.5 billion in 2016. The Dräger Group is currently present in more than 190 countries and has more than 13,000 employees worldwide. Please visit www.draeger.com for more information.