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Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month Week 4

Week 4: Leadership, Survivorship and Culture Change

Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month is nearing the end, but the work does not stop when January is over! Week four helps guide you through how to support your fellow brothers and sisters who have been diagnosed with cancer and provide resources to assist with organizational culture change that favors cancer prevention practices and how to get support from leadership.

Week four includes two separate sections of information: one for Leadership and Survivorship, and one for Culture Change. Social media infographics for both sections can be found at the bottom.

To get the most from this week, we recommend taking one day this week and conduct a Safety Stand Down. All resources are also available to review at your convenience.

To further solidify your ongoing commitment to the prevention of fire fighter occupational cancer, we invite you to sign the online pledge and encourage you to use the Reason for Signing section to honor those we have lost to – or are currently fighting – occupational cancer.


Leadership and Survivorship

  • Personal Story: “When I Retire” (4-minute video)
    Boston Fire Department recruits talk about their future. 
  • Research Paper: Cancer Incidence Among Firefighters: 45 Years of Follow-Up in Five Nordic Countries
    The five Nordic countries that participated in this project were Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. They studied 16,422 fire fighters and found elevated cancer rates for seven types of cancers. Some of these associations have been observed previously, and it was found that exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, asbestos and shiftwork involving disruption of circadian rhythms may partly explain these results. Although this specific research project was focused on predominantly white male fire fighters, there is a need and a plan to include research for a diversified workforce. This includes and identifies a variety of risks and challenges for diverse ethnic groups and female fire fighters.  
  • Educational Presentation #4: Survivorship
    A 16-slide presentation that shares specific strategies for supporting a fire fighter who has been diagnosed with cancer. Note: Make sure you view the presentation in “presenter mode” to capture the instructor notes for the slides.
  • Survivor Story: Kyle O’Neill / San Diego, CA Local 145 (5-minute video)
  • Leadership/Survivorship: University of Miami Survivorship Application
    This website and application requires that you to register an email address for access to the dashboard that has a comprehensive list of resources for navigating the journey of a cancer diagnosis. 
  • Factsheets:
  • Survivorship

Culture Change

Leadership/Survivorship: Executive Officer Leadership: Firefighters and the Cancer Threat 
A short article in the International Association of Fire Chiefs about leadership and the issue of fire fighter cancer prevention.


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