VIDEO: January is firefighter cancer awareness month. It’s a time for departments and advocates to raise awareness about the ongoing occupational hazards that firefighters face every day.
According to research by the CDC and National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Firefighters have a nine percent higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer and a fourteen percent higher risk of dying from cancer than the average person but, advocates in Alabama are working toward ways to help lower those statistics. Toney Volunteer Fire Department President Heath Jones said the Huntsville Fire Department’s Cancer Committee is investing in helping local departments fight one of the main factors that contribute to a higher risk of cancer among firefighters, namely the absorption of hazardous chemicals through their skin. The department is doing this with new decon kits.