Dallas Funds Firefighters with New, Better Gear to Prevent Occupational Cancer

The Dallas City Council voted to buy nearly $9 million in firefighting gear to help keep firefighters safe from cancerous materials on the job.

Cancer among firefighters is, unfortunately, a common reality. Firefighters face smoke and fire as a part of their job, and they are often exposed to harmful carcinogens as a result.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently concluded from two studies that firefighters face a nine percent increase in cancer diagnoses, and a 14 percent increase in cancer-related deaths, compared to the general population in the U.S.

Last week, the Dallas City Council decided to provide all Dallas firefighters with new and high-quality gear to prevent against occupational cancer, reports an article from MSN.

The vote was unanimous: each Dallas firefighter will receive a new set of gear as part of the $9 million fund. In total, that will mean 1,750 sets of new gear—including bunker pants, gloves, and hoods.

“Not only are they buying us a second set of gear, but we are getting top of the line gear,” said Dallas Firefighters Association president Jim McDade.

In McDade’s 15 years as a firefighter, he has lost many colleagues to occupational cancer. More than 20 active-duty Dallas firefighters are currently battling cancer, and more than 40 retired Dallas firefighters are also facing the disease. He doesn’t want to lose any more.

“All of the smoke and the soot that we are exposed to in a fire contains carcinogens,” McDade said.  

Because of this, clean and effective gear is the number-one-way firefighters can protect against work-related cancer. To the Dallas fire department, this $9 million fund is a huge step.

The new sets of gear are expected to be sized and purchased immediately. Delivery will begin as soon as June of 2020.

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