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Fire-Rescue Service Roundtable: Fire Department Health & Wellness Initiatives

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[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.

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									   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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