Occupational cancer is now the leading cause of death among firefighters—surpassing heart disease. The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) are committed to reversing this trend to save more firefighter lives.

During Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month, the IAFF and FCSN will partner to deliver targeted education and best practices and resources to reduce the impact of cancer on fire fighters. 

The month-long campaign includes safety stand downs, factsheets, podcasts, survivor stories and training briefs. Materials focus on the scope of the cancer problem, prevention best practices, leadership tactics to encourage prevention and skills to help cancer survivors and departments reduce their risk of occupational cancer.

Topics are reinforced through online resources, such as daily training information and infographics that promote the program on social media and podcasts addressing important cancer topics and the latest research.

“Cancer is the leading cause of death among firefighters, accounting for more than 65 percent of the line-of-duty deaths added to the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Wall of Honor each year,” says IAFF General President Edward Kelly. “We must educate ourselves and do everything we can to prevent occupational cancer. Together, the IAFF and the FCSN are dedicated to do whatever it takes to keep firefighters healthy on and off the job.”

“As we continue to learn more about the link between firefighting and cancer, it is more important than ever that we take steps minimize the risk firefighters face every single day,” says FCSN CEO Bryan Frieders. “The science around firefighter exposures is constantly changing but with continued research we learn more and more and are better equipped to introduce prevention practices to reduce our risk of developing occupational cancer.

Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) provides critical assistance for career or volunteer, active or retired firefighters, emergency medical service providers, and their immediate family members who have been diagnosed with cancer. They deliver valuable post-diagnosis resources followed by unique badge to badge, one-on-one mentorship from one of their 220 fire-service mentors who have first-hand knowledge about battling cancer. They share their survivor’s journey about their types of cancer, their own experiences with testing and treatments, and offer valuable insight into the recovery process. https://firefightercancersupport.org