VIEWS: 12 PAGES: 6 CATEGORY: Science & Technology POSTED ON: 6/11/2010
[WILLIAM GOLDFEDER]: One of the easiest and simple things we can do is to make sure all firefighters wash themselves to get rid of the soot and other related residues from fires so we can avoid skin exposure. For years, we would walk around with that stuff all over us, almost enjoying it and feeling good about it. Then we end up finding out that the stuff is being sucked into our bodies by our skin and is a "freeway" for cancer-causing stuff to directly enter our systems.
FIREFIGHTER HEALTH & SAFETY >>> Bill Grimshaw DAVID DANIELS What’s Being Done to Protect Firefighters MHRM, MIFireE, CFO, is fire chief/emergency services administrator for the City of Renton, WA. He is international director of the International BEFORE They Reach the Fireground? Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Safety, Health & Survival Section and a member of the National Fire Firehouse® Magazine recently asked a cross-section of fire service leaders to participate Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committee in a roundtable discussion of firefighter health and wellness. We selected representatives on Fire Service Occupational Safety and Health. of organizations or programs that focus on keeping firefighters fit and healthy, on and off WILLIAM GOLDFEDER duty, with the goal of reducing health-related fatalities. a Firehouse® contributing editor, is deputy chief of the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department in Ohio. He chairs the IAFC Safety, Health & Sur- vival Section. In addition, he is a member of the In your opinion, what is the most significant health issue facing National Firefighter Near-Miss Reporting Task firefighters today and what can they do to protect themselves? Force and a technical reviewer for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and DANIELS: The most significant health issue facing firefighters today is cardiovascular dis- Prevention Program. ease. With approximately 50% of the line-of-duty fatalities attributable to heart-related GARY MORRIS maladies, it’s by far the issue that has the most significant impact on the health of firefight- retired as an assistant chief from the Phoenix ers. What firefighters can do to protect themselves is to individually focus more attention Fire Department after a 30-year career. He also on their heart health. To protect themselves, firefighters should focus more attention on served as fire chief for the Seattle, WA, Fire their overall health, especially on their diet, exercise and stress-management techniques. Department and the Rural/Metro Fire Department in Arizona. He is an at-large director of the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section. GOLDFEDER: Cancer. Without question, it is cancer, which also may be neck-and-neck with heart disease. But let’s just stick to cancer, since we have been talking about heart disease for KEITH PADGETT years, but we have not been talking about firefighter cancer very much. After all, how many of is a battalion chief in the Fulton County, GA, Fire us “know” personally (as in knew them before they were killed) a firefighter that was a line-of- Department, assigned to the Special Operations Battalion, which includes the Georgia Search and duty death (LODD)? Few have known any firefighter LODDs, but then ask them how many Rescue (GSAR) Task Force and Hazardous Materi- of you know or knew a firefighter with cancer? Firefighting cancer is a huge issue. Recent als Response Team. He is an at-large director of studies have shown that cancers, including testicular, prostate, skin, brain, rectum, stomach the IAFC Safety, Health & Survival Section. and colon cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma and malignant melanoma, JOHN TIPPETT are directly related to firefighting in varying
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