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Health and Safety
Mar 06, 2014

Jan 10, 2009
The following videos explain why adequate staffing is imperative in the Fire Service.    NFPA 1710     This third video shows just how quickly fire spreads.  And why a quick response by the Fire Department is important
Mar 18, 2008

My name is Bob Kilduff. I have been a firefighter for 34 years. Were it not for some help from above, marvelous medical people and dumb luck I would well be on my way to an early death due to occupational cancer. I am telling my story in the hope that another brother or sister firefighter will not have to share my experience.
Like many of you reading this, I only went to the doctor when hurt. You know the drill: burns, cuts, smoke inhalation and the many orthopedic injuries that come part and parcel with our job. For reasons unknown the thoughts of retirement age prompted me in May of 2003 to get my first physical exam in 30 years. I felt the best I had in years and the test results bore this out. All was well. The doc however advised that I have a colonoscopy due to my age. Not really thrilled, I acquiesced. The procedure was a piece of cake; however, the test revealed a large tumor in my colon which needed to be addressed. Twenty days later a section of my colon was removed. I had to undergo a 6 month chemotherapy program which could have been avoided with early detection. It now appears that my cancer is in remission and the doctors predict these procedures will help save my life.
The issue here is why go to the doctor and learn you're very sick when you can go to the doctor and keep from getting very sick. I have learned the hard way that you must act prudently if you want to see your grandkids grow, have a chance to retire, golf, fish, hunt, go to the track or whatever. If you don't have regular medical checkups your odds of enjoying a longer than normal life are greatly diminished. Early detection of cancer is paramount in successful treatment. This will allow you to do what you want to do and not what your doctor will allow you to do.
In 1990 a cancer presumption law was passed by the Legislature in Massachusetts. This followed hundreds of hours of research by Jack McKenna of Local 718 into the prevalence of cancer in firefighters and an intense lobbying effort by Mike Mullane, Third District IAFF VP, Bob McCarthy, President of the PFFM, Larry Curran of Local 718, Ken Donnelly and John Fallon of the PFFM along with many others. This law was not a gift but a hard fought victory. The reason it was signed into law was that it has been shown that firefighters have a serious problem with cancer. Numerous studies have pointed to the fact that there are over a dozen cancers that attack firefighters more often than the general population. Our exposure to the products of combustion and the resultant carcinogens are the reason and we must be more proactive in protecting ourselves
through cancer screening. The Boston Fire Department's Medical Examiner Mike Hamrock deals with cancer and firefighters daily. From his observations, firefighter cancer screening should take place if there is a family history of cancer. For example, colon screening normally scheduled for a fifty year old should take place at age forty due to our higher incidence of the disease. Firefighter deaths due to occupational diseases are far more common than the number of line of duty deaths caused by other means and we must take them seriously.
Longtime union activist and dear friend J.J. Jennings left this world with our profession a much better place through his efforts. Hid endeavors were to always help union members and their families. it is my hope, through this program, to leave put job a little bit better and saving just one life will be worth the time involved. I ask that you take a few minutes to examine your efforts to help yourself stay healthy. Think for a moment about my experiences over the last ten months and if necessary take the action necessary to help you avoid my fate. Remember, DON'T BE ME.
God Bless and stay safe………BK

Brother Kilduff Died in The Line of Duty on March 13, 2008 from Occupational Cancer He accomplished so much for so many

Download: dontbeme.pdf

Jul 15, 2007
YOUR HOOD: And lastly, while I do not have any data to back this up currently, some comments were made to me last week regarding some firefighters in one pretty large, busy Western department that have an increased amount of thyroid cancer.
In that discussion, one theory is concern over firefighters not washing their protective hoods after fire calls. In other words, the built up soot on a hood (like any of our PPE) from fires that is remaining on the hood-and then lingering where we sweat, and being absorbed in that area (neck and head) where we have thin skin, may very well be suspect.
If you recall, earlier this year, University of Cincinnati (UC) environmental health researchers determined that firefighters are significantly more likely to develop four different types of cancer than workers in other fields. A significant part of that study looked at PPE, what we have now, how we use it, how we maintain/clean it and what should be used by firefighters in the future.
The researchers found, for example, that firefighters are twice as likely to develop testicular cancer and have significantly higher rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and prostate cancer than non-firefighters. The researchers also confirmed previous findings that firefighters are at greater risk for multiple myeloma.
When I heard the hood comments from the firefighters, I just thought it was worth passing on here as a reminder that firefighting hoods have to be cleaned after every run...and whatever else the NFPA and manufacturer recommends. It can't hurt.
All the crap that is off-gassed from burning while we operate at any kind of fire call-and then applied directly to our skin...can't be good.
Here is more on the issue:
The Secret List 7-11-07 / 0802 hours

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