'NBC Nightly News' takes on rising cancer rates among firefighters

The segment featured an interview with a Boston firefighter who is battling blood cancer as well as Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn

By FireRescue1 Staff

BOSTON — Last night's NBC Nightly News segment featured an in-depth look at firefighter occupational cancer.

The segment featured an interview with a Boston firefighter who is battling blood cancer and Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn, who called cancer rates in the fire service an "epidemic." According to the segment, three active or just-retired firefighters are diagnosed with cancer each month.

Cancer, according to the International Association of Firefighters, is now the leading cause of death among firefighters. As a result, Boston, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Toronto and Calgary fire departments are tracking and reporting cancer rates.

Incident commanders, according to the report, are now ordering firefighters to keep their masks on until they are out of the smoke. They also want all firefighters to be washed down by decontamination teams on the scene. Additionally, firefighters are being told to change into a second set of turnout gear while their dirty gear gets cleaned. 

Watch the segment below, and tell us what you think in the comments section.


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