Walk into any of the Asheville Fire Department’s stations today and each one will look different than it did ten years ago, even five years ago. The department currently has 12 different firehouses, 17 companies, special response teams and units and around 270 personnel. The one thing they all have in common is safety practices when it comes to preventing occupational cancer.
Cancer’s impact on the Asheville Fire Department has been significant with as many as 7 firefighters reporting cancers to the NC Insurance Commissioner’s Office in a voluntary survey. Over the years, informal surveys within the department and retirees show the number of firefighters stricken with cancer could be as many as 60 or higher. Because of that impact, the Department has done what it can to best protect firefighters while on the job.