Phoenix firefighter dies after losing battle with occupational cancer
Brian Beck Jr., a third-generation firefighter, will be memorialized as a line-of-duty death
By FireRescue1 Staff
PHOENIX — Firefighter Brian Beck Jr. died Sunday after losing his battle with job-related cancer and the Phoenix Fire Department said he will be memorialized as a line of duty death.
The department shared a message from the United Phoenix Firefighters which noted “Firefighter Beck is the second Phoenix Firefighter we have lost to job related cancer this year.”
Beck, 31, was a third-generation firefighter who had worked with the department for eight years.
Memorial services are pending for Beck, who leaves behind a wife and three young children
The union noted in its Facebook post that “Occupational cancer has proven to be the new epidemic we face in the fire service, far too many precious colleagues of ours have been lost to this relentless illness.”
"We're worried because we love our profession, we love what we do for our communities but we are concerned that is an epidemic for us," United Phoenix Firefighters President Bryan Jeffries told Arizona Family News.
Almost everything in modern homes today are made of chemicals and when they burn, those chemicals are carcinogenic.
While fire departments are working to improve their decontamination process after fighting fires, they are also looking at technical ways to improve their firefighting gear to protect firefighters from occupational cancer.
"Where we really need help is on a technical side without gear. Frankly the gear that our firefighter wear today has not technologically changed dramatically in the last 30 years and it's just not enough to protect them from these carcinogens,” Jeffries said.
To help with medical expenses, friends started a GoFundMePage to help the family.