Tag Archives: firefighters and cancer

3 Books Every Firefighter Should Get for Christmas

This Thanksgiving, I'm grateful to know three very special people, Dawn Balstad-Johnson, Dr. Burt Clark, and Asst. Chief (Ret.) Linda Green, and even more grateful to have read all three of their incredible books. Here, for my money, are three outstanding books that would make great additions to your firefighter library or that of a firefighter you love.

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The Turnout Gear Myth

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer Photo Source: http://tinyurl.com/y5vllmj2 One of my earliest memories from my Hazardous Materials-Operations course was hearing the instructor say, “Your structural firefighting PPE is not acceptable chemical protective clothing.” That was true in the mid-1980’s when I took that course and it’s still true today. As concern within the fire service about firefighters developing cancer ...

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Firefighter Cancer Presumption Laws Are Not a Silver Bullet

Firefighters will very well find themselves in the same position in the future as a growing number of firefighters develop cancer from doing their job will find themselves being crushed financially paying for cancer-related treatment and cancer-related deaths prompted by firefighter cancer presumption laws. When that happens, we should not be surprised when efforts begin to reduce or even dissolve the social compromise between firefighters in those governments.

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It’s Time to Limit Wearing of Firefighting Turnout Gear

Everybody is now starting to say, “Treat every structure fire like a hazmat incident” (Something I’ve been saying and writing about for about four or five years now). Well, do you ever see a hazmat team member wearing a Level A (fully encapsulated) protective suit unless they're working on an incident or training? No, you don't! And it's time every firefighter starts looking at their structural PPE the same way!

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What are the rules of interior structural firefighting?

Look, I’ve made this connection between the HAZWOPER standard and interior structural firefighting with about an hour’s worth of research. How long do you think it’s going to take for an attorney—and their legal team—representing a firefighter who’s developed cancer on the job to develop a solid case that their client’s cancer was caused by the inappropriate PPE and unnecessary exposure to toxic chemicals, chemical compounds, and carcinogens?

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The Coming Firefighter Cancer Tsunami

The firefighter diagnosed with colon cancer today may have first been exposed 15 to 20 years ago (1998 to 2003). What did we know then? How well were we protecting ourselves then? These are questions that should be scaring the hell out of firefighters. They do me because my career spanned the years 1982 to 2007!

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