Firefighting, Hazmat, Structural Firefighting

Reducing the Incidence of Cancer Among Firefighters: Jacksonville’s Best Practices

Issue 12 and Volume 167.

BY TREVOR NELSON In the fire service, traditions live long and die hard. For years, the fire service has been reluctant to embrace change until the evidence that proves a contrary path is beneficial becomes ingrained into our psyche. One area in which firefighters have been reluctant to modify their approach is that menial but necessary task, overhaul. Because there generally is a lack of heavy smoke and there is no urgency to stop a fast-moving fire during overhaul, firefighters generally remove their personal protective equipment (PPE) and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) to accomplish the task more quickly. We are not fully aware of the unannounced hidden dangers lurking in what appears to be clean air; breath-taking chemicals known as asphyxiants; toxins that irritate lung tissue; and allergens, which, as the name implies, can cause allergic reactions to skin and mucous membranes. The most deadly danger firefighters face, however, is…

Subscribe to unlock this content

Subscribe Now