January is Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month

How we can help prevent occupational cancer for our firefighters
Updated: Jan. 20, 2023 at 3:00 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - At the 2022 IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial, almost 75% of the names added to the wall (348 out of 469) were members who had died from occupational cancer.

So, what are local fire departments doing to prevent occupational cancer? We sit down with Peter Matthiessen, a Member of the Roanoke Firefighters Association, to tell us about of the innovative decontamination equipment being used and a one-of-a-kind Decon Room, which is housed in Station 7.

He also explains how the community can get involved, including supporting a bill that could expand the presumption of compensability for several types of cancers in certain first responders. It has been introduced in the Virginia General Assembly, and if you’d like to show your support, you can click the link that has been set up for you to email your support of our legislation protecting fire fighters this year, or call/email your local representative in support of HB 1408.