With a growing number of firefighters falling victim to cancer, the need for a broader understanding and prevention of the disease is more critical than ever before. Due to an increased need for awareness, the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) has provided TargetSolutions with 45 valuable articles that have been uploaded into Community Resources.

TargetSolutions features 45 valuable documents produced by the Firefighter Cancer Support Network to educate firefighters on the cancer epidemic inside the fire service. These items are available inside Community Resources.

“Statistically speaking, 1 in 3 firefighters are diagnosed with cancer,” said Bryan Frieders, president of the FCSN.  “The network is an organization that comes alongside firefighters and their immediate families who have been diagnosed and provides them with a toolbox of materials to help them, the most important part being we provide a mentor.”

With a network of more than 150 mentors across the United States and Canada, the FCSN aims to connect recently diagnosed individuals with someone who went through a similar diagnosis and treatment.

“It takes away the fear of the unknown,” Frieders said. “It’s the fundamental reason why we took the job in the fire service: to help others.”

The documents currently available through the TargetSolutions’ Community Resources application highlight the necessary safety precautions for firefighters on the job, as well as the studies and investigations that illuminate the vastness of the cancer epidemic.

Frieders cites a 2013 study published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which revealed a relation between firefighters and cancer and the 1-in-3 claim. Causes of this statistic could be an increased amount of composite materials and chemicals that are now commonplace in household products of homes that catch on fire. Other correlations point to a lack of cleanliness.

“A lot of traditions we’ve placed over the last 100 years are imposing the awning for cancer,” Frieders said. “It used to be that wearing dirty sooty gear was a badge of courage, but what it comes down to is the dirty gear that you’re wearing is actually posing a hazard to you and your colleagues.”

In addition to cleanliness, Frieders places emphasis on stronger leadership to enforce safety standards and cancer prevention, utilizing proper protective gear, and avoiding all tobacco products.

“Personally speaking, I think cancer is the most contemporary and prevalent issue in the fire service today.”

Bryan Frieders, President, Firefighter Cancer Support Network

Jenny Fergason, TargetSolutions’ Director of Client Services, adds “Firefighters are more likely to develop certain types of cancers than workers in other fields. The Firefighter Support Cancer Network provides great resources and support both for firefighters and for family members who are dealing with career related cancers.”

To view these resources provided by the FCSN, please log in to TargetSolutions, access Community Resources, and search “Firefighter Cancer Support Network.” If you have any questions, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.