While concerns regarding the exposure to carcinogens are common to both career and volunteer firefighters, the volunteer and combination fire service have some specific challenges that are different and need to be addressed. Volunteers regularly transport contaminated PPE and other gear in their personal vehicles, thereby exposing themselves and their family members to carcinogens. Because they may return home or go back to work directly after a fire, they often continue to wear their personal clothing, which will stay contaminated. It is not acceptable to return from a medical call with blood or vomitus on our clothing and then sit back down at work or return to the dinner table at home. The same concern should be exercised after returning from a fire: gear must be cleaned, clothing must be washed and showers must be taken — before returning to work or family activities to reduce carcinogenic exposure. Many volunteers carry their PPE in their personal vehicle, often in the trunk or even in the vehicle’s passenger compartment. Handling PPE in this manner facilitates the off-gassing of toxins and carcinogens, especially when the PPE is heated by elevated temperatures from the sun.
Date(s): Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Registration: Open and ongoing