Firefighter with cancer records warning before dying
Grant Dalton’s wife recorded him stressing the importance of cancer prevention while he was undergoing chemo treatment
By FireRescue1 Staff
DALLAS — A fire department is using a firefighter’s warning that he recorded before dying of occupational cancer to raise awareness in the department.
WFAA reported that 21-year veteran Dallas Fire-Rescue firefighter Grant Dalton, 58, died in July 2017 after being diagnosed with job-related esophageal cancer two years before.
A month before his death, Dalton’s wife, Michelle, recorded a nine-minute video of him urging firefighters to take cancer prevention seriously while he was undergoing chemo treatment.
In the recording, Dalton highlights dangers such as firefighters searching through burned debris after a fire is put out.
“In overhaul, we didn’t wear our masks,” Dalton says in the recording. “Everything is just burned up, and you’re scooping it. All of this stuff is just floating around. It’s sitting in your throat — and you swallow it down. It goes on and on throughout your career — wherever you may work.”
Dallas Fire-Rescue Chief David Coatney recently sent a text to Michelle informing her that the department now uses the recording for awareness training, and she said that while it is strange to hear his voice again, she hopes it will make a difference.
“I don’t want to just save one family. I want to save hundreds of families — from walking down the path that we walked through,” she said.