VIDEO: “Three, two, one,” counted down a researcher with N.C. State University’s Wilson College of Textiles. With a click, flames ignited and scorched a firefighter’s helmet, protective hood and turn out gear.
It’s how the state is fighting cancer with fire power.
Data gathered from the mannequin, which is armed with sensors and better known at N.C. State as “Pyroman,” is just one tool researchers are using to better protect firefighters from carcinogens that increase their risk of cancer.
The increased rates of cancer in the fire service have been a key topic for researchers and firefighters alike. In 2015, an IAFF study found particles of soot and smoke from structure fires could penetrate a firefighter’s turnout gear and could be contributing to the spike in cancer rates among firefighters.