IAFF, American Cancer Society collaborate to battle occupational cancer
The organizations have launched a website to serve EMS providers and firefighters and plan to work together on projects and research
By Leila Merrill
NEW YORK CITY — The International Association of Fire Fighters and the American Cancer Society have teamed up to help firefighters and EMS providers detect, treat and prevent cancer.
Occupational cancer is now the leading cause of death for firefighters and EMS providers.
The leading cause of cancer among firefighters is the toxic chemicals released in fires, found in contaminated gear and in diesel exhaust.
The two organizations have created a comprehensive online resource, iaff.org/fightcancer, they announced Thursday morning. The website includes information on prevention and screening, a listing of support resources, risk reduction tips, and ways to get involved in the fight against cancer.
In addition to offering resources on the shared website, the IAFF and the ACS plan to collaborate on projects and research regarding occupational cancer.
“The American Cancer Society is proud to join with the International Association of Fire Fighters to offer firefighters and their families the critical support and programs they need to cope with cancer and to prevent cancer in the future,” said Dr. Karen Knudsen, the American Cancer Society’s chief executive officer. “We know from numerous studies that cancer rates run significantly higher for fire fighters than the general population. With this important collaboration, we can help save the lives of firefighters and EMS workers by making cancer resources more readily available through access to cancer prevention and patient support programs.”
“Cancer is now one of the biggest fights we face in the fire service, but we are determined to do all we can to end this deadly scourge,” IAFF General President Edward Kelly said in a news release.