Fire departments train almost every day.
“We want the visibility to be what we think we’re going to go into when we go into an actual fire,” said Janesville Deputy Fire Chief James Ponkauskas. “That’s what we’re looking for when we’re training.”
While cancer prevention has come to the forefront for many departments battling real fires, Ponkauskas says only recently has the Janesville Fire Department looked at the dangers they face while training.
“We weren’t really thinking about our health and the health of everyone else that was there,” he said.
Part of the concern is the cancer-causing chemicals in many kinds of training smoke.
“It’s something everybody is thinking about,” said Ponkauskas. “We’ve had a few individuals in our department that have went through cancer and that’s one of the big things for the fire service.”
A Janesville based company, Simply Solutions, developed a smoke solution free of glycols and other carcinogens.