Recommending medical screenings that go beyond a basic physical for firefighters. It’s part of the City of Asheville Fire Department’s effort aimed at raising cancer awareness for firefighters who are at a 14-percent greater risk of cancer-related deaths. As many as 7 Asheville Firefighters recently reported cases of cancer to the NC Insurance Commissioner Voluntary Cancer Registry, but surveys over several years within the department and retirees show that number could be greater than 60.
News 13’s Deadlier than Fire series looking at why lowering the age for some medical screenings could save firefighters lives.
Each step, on a treadmill for a firefighter, could be the difference between catching and treating cancer risks early, or not for firefighters including Asheville Division Chief of Training Wes Rogers. “It’s just the nature of our jobs,” said Rogers as he waited in an Advent Health exam room.