The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) adopts the position to encourage chiefs of fire and rescue departments to support the National Fire Service Cancer Initiative that is being facilitated by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Firefighter Cancer Support Network and theirs efforts to protect our members from a disease which effects firefighters at a rate three times higher than the average public.
With the rate of firefighter deaths linked to cancer growing every year, we also encourage departments to look for other ways to be proactive in alleviating exposure to known toxins and carcinogens. We strongly support the funding for, and provision of, secondary firefighting hoods and gear bags to transport Personal Protective Ensemble (PPE) as ways to mitigate exposure to such carcinogens. Furthermore, we encourage the continuous use of SCBA through overhaul and the use of disposable wipes at every fire during rehab to remove potential carcinogens.
Providing a second firefighting hood to members allows the ability to switch to a clean hood after each fire while the other hood is being decontaminated. As hoods make direct contact with the body, cancer-causing materials are being absorbed directing through the skin. The use of a secondary hood while the other is out for decontamination will alleviate this consistent contact and reduce exposure.
Read more here: http://www.iafc.org/files/1ASSOC/IAFCposition_Cancer.pdf