SC city FD first in state to provide firefighters cancer-protecting gear

The new gear is designed with “particulate protection technology,” which blocks smoke from going up a firefighter’s body through the arms and legs


By FireRescue1 Staff 

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — The Myrtle Beach Fire Department is the first in the state to purchase a new protective gear with advanced technology to help reduce the risk of cancer in firefighters.

According to Live 5 WSCS, the new gear is designed with “particulate protection technology,” which blocks smoke from entering the firefighter’s body through the arms and legs. Twenty-one firefighters received the gear, with each set costing $2,500.

“What we’ve designed is a system that blocks the particulates to the best of their abilities from saturating into the skin," said Chris Catalano, territory manager for North American Fire Equipment Company.

 

 

The department is planning on outfitting an additional 30 firefighters with the new gear. Officials hope the gear will reduce the risk of cancer.

“Statistically speaking, firefighters are at a much higher risk of contracting cancer than the general public,” said Myrtle Beach Fire Chief Tom Gwyer. “We just had a firefighter diagnosed not even a month ago. So, it’s a real epidemic in the fire service and it’s something that we want to minimize the risk to our employees and this is the first step to hopefully try and curb that trend."

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