Firefighting is an inherently dangerous occupation; firefighters put themselves in harm's way every day of the year. They never know when they will be exposed to possible injury or even death from fire, smoke, collapsing structures or a myriad of other hazards. Still, there is a further and until recently unrecognized threat that firefighters and paramedics must face. It is an insidious killer, which can strike years after a firefighter leaves the service or strike them down in the prime of their lives. That killer is cancer. According to City of Ashland Fire Chief Wayne Chenier, the reason for the increase in cancer among firefighters and other emergency personnel is the changing nature of the fires they are called on to deal with.