Cancer has become the most dangerous threat to the health and safety of America’s firefighters. Today, the nonprofit Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) presented Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service Capt. Rick Triplett with its Firefighter Cancer Prevention Leadership Award.
FCSN Secretary Trey Kelso made the presentation at MCFRS Station 23 in Rockville, Maryland. The accompanying letter from FCSN President Dan Crow praised Triplett’s innovative firefighter cancer prevention concept. “Your awareness of the significant cancer risks that all firefighters face prompted you to help your fellow firefighters mitigate those risks,” Crow wrote. “Your plan: Get your firefighters to wash their protective hoods once a week and thus reduce their exposure to carcinogens.”
Triplett’s concept led to FCSN’s national Wash-Your-Hood-Sunday (WYHS) initiative that launched last month. With gracious support from Honeywell First Responder Products, FCSN’s Wash-Your-Hood-Sunday initiative features full-color posters, hang tags, print ads in national fire service magazines.
Those materials and an extensive social media and email campaign all reinforce one of the simplest, most-effective firefighter cancer prevention tactics: Wash your hood!
Triplett accepted a related certificate of appreciation and 10 new MaskMate hoods from Honeywell First Responder Products. Honeywell’s WYHS Facebook page is available at the following link: http://tinyurl.com/HoneywellFBWYHS
Cancer is a growing threat to every firefighter. Multiple studies, including the United States Fire Administration and NIOSH cancer study released in 2013, have shown higher rates of multiple types of cancers in firefighters compared to the general American population.
“Our goal is to measurably change firefighter behavior and decision-making regarding line-of-duty exposure to carcinogens,” said FCSN Communications Director Bryan Frieders, a battalion chief with the San Gabriel (CA) Fire Department. “The firefighting environment has inherent carcinogenic risks, but there are simple, inexpensive ways to reduce those risks right now.”
FCSN’s 2013 white paper, “Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service,” provides lifesaving details about recognizing and reducing firefighters‘ cancer risks. It’s available as a free download from firefightercancersupport.org.
FCSN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2005 by Los Angeles County Firefighter/Paramedic Mike Dubron, a survivor of stage IV colon cancer. Today, FCSN’s objective is to provide timely assistance to all fire and EMS personnel and their family members who have been diagnosed with cancer. FCSN also develops and delivers cancer awareness, prevention, education, and outreach programs nationwide.
FCSN offers unique expertise through its national network of mentors–most of whom are cancer survivors themselves–and current or retired fire-service personnel who deliver FCSN’s comprehensive cancer awareness and prevention training.