The Peoria Fire-Medical Department, the Peoria City Council and Human Resources Director Christine Nickel are piloting a cancer screening program for line-of-duty firefighters.
The program would allow all firefighters to receive an initial screening to determine their risk level. Based on the risk factors, the firefighters with the highest risk would be included into the program as a participant and the screenings would begin.
The data from the screenings and treatments will be collected and reported to the council to ensure efficacy of the program.
“For a long time, firefighters have always known that they are going to have a shorter lifespan than other professions,” Mayor Cathy Carlat said. “If it doesn’t have to be that way, then we certainly want to do everything that we can so that it isn’t that way.”
Cancer is the leading cause of death for line-of-duty firefighters. The program is designed to take a preventative approach.
“(The department) has been focused on mitigating the risks through early detection and treatment,” Nickel said.