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Volunteer firefighters push for protection for those diagnosed with cancer

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By Lisa Braxton

“You have cancer.” Those are perhaps the most dreaded words a patient could hear. A cancer diagnosis can be tragic, and tragedy has been mounting among volunteer firefighters. New York State is home to more than 90,000 volunteer firefighters who sacrifice their time, safety and, too often, their health in service to their communities.

Firefighters are significantly more likely to develop many types of cancer than the general population largely due to the high levels of carcinogens and other toxins found in burning buildings and hazardous environments. The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) has produced “Fighting Fires–Fighting Cancer: FASNY Members Share Their Stories.” The video features volunteer firefighters, including NFPA Education Section Director Brian McQueen, who’ve received a cancer diagnosis.

Volunteer firefighters diagnosed with cancer face escalating medical bills and the possibility of lost wages as they become sicker. There is no formal safety net currently in place to help those volunteer firefighters who need it most. This video is an example of one of the ways that FASNY seeks to see this change.

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Firefighters more likely to develop cancer than public at large, experts say in calling for volunteers’ insurance

Source:: NFPA – Safety Information


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