Wednesday was National First Responders Day, intended to honor the men and women putting their lives on the line day after day.
Unfortunately, with that comes the danger of illnesses, among them cancer, the leading cause of death in firefighters.
It’s why the Ohio Firefighters Attacking the Cancer Epidemic Group, known as the FACE team, gathered Wednesday afternoon to bring awareness to what they describe as a crisis.
Dave Greve is assistant fire chief with the Liberty Township Fire Department.
“It’s something we can’t put off," Greve said. “We need to do something now. We’re already in this epidemic, we need to do something to combat it. We need to come up with procedures and technologies to assist us.”
Firefighters say they’re stressing the importance of leaving carcinogens at the fire scene. That includes doing a full “decon” procedure, which involves removing contaminants from the bodies and gear of firefighters.