VIDEO: Florida lawmakers will try once again this year to create a system to help a particular group with a higher risk of developing cancer: firefighters.
The Centers for Disease Control found in a study that firefighters are at a 15 percent greater risk of developing cancer than the average person.
“When [firefighters] are exposed to various chemicals that are in a fire, it’s more dangerous today than ever,” said Chief Otto Drozd of Orange County Fire Rescue. “If you look at household materials, while they were made from natural materials many years ago, there are all sorts of chemical formulations, and when a fire burns, that is absorbed through the skin.”
Those potential cancerous elements then spread from a firefighter’s suit to the truck they’re riding in, to the fire house, and even in their family’s own home.
In Florida, firefighters often have to rely on their medical insurance to cover costs, as there is no cancer benefit provision available.
Florida Chief Financial Officer and Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis told Spectrum News he is working with several state lawmakers to draft a measure that would create such a system, with hopes lawmakers will pass the bill during their session in March.
Spectrum Bay News 9
VIDEO: Buncombe County authorities said a fire truck ended up in a creek on the way to a fire early Sunday morning.
Firefighters were responding to a house fire on White Bridge Road, near Upper Flat Creek Road in Weaverville, about 12:40 a.m. Sunday. Firefighters say the home involved was engulfed in flames when they arrived.
The Reynolds Fire Department truck had to cross a bridge to access the home. The bridge collapsed, but no firefighters were injured, authorities said.
Six trucks became stranded on the other side of the bridge.
Crews were able to transport one man from inside the house to the hospital before the bridge collapsed.
Weaverville Fire Department Chief Ted Williams said he was relieved to find out no firefighters were harmed in the bridge incident.
Buncombe County Emergency Services Director Jerry Vehaun confirms crews got the truck out of the creek Sunday afternoon. They used a crane to get it out; however, it and the five other trucks remain stranded on the other side of broken bridge.
ABC 13 WLOS
On Jan. 27, the Wilmington Fire Department will participate in the third annual BFit First Responder Challenge at T.D. Garden. The challenge is put on by the Boston Bruins Foundation, and is intended to raise awareness of health and wellness within New England.
The challenge is comprised of three divisions: the Firefighter/EMT division, the Law Enforcement division, and the Civilian division. During the challenge, participants have the choice of three climbing courses to complete, while other activities are offered for friends and family in attendance.
The idea behind the BFit challenge has its roots locally in Wilmington. In 2004, during the NHL strike, Bruins players, accompanied by strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides, came to the Wilmington Fire Station to train and observe the daily operations of the department. From there, the BFit challenge came to be.
Since the challenge began in 2017, the members of the Wilmington Fire Department have been the undefeated victors of the challenge.
Last year, The Wilmington Fire Department raised over $16,000, and Wilmington Firefighter Chuck Taylor held the title for the highest individual fundraiser in the challenge, raising over $7,000.
Wilmington Town Crier
Workplace bullying is a serious national problem. According to a survey done by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) in 2017, nearly 20 percent of American workers have personally experienced being bullied at work. Another 19 percent have directly witnessed bullying taking place. More than two-thirds of all workers are certain that bullying exists in their place of employment.
The fire service is no exception. Although research specific to the emergency services is still in its early stages, there is no doubt that bullying exists on both individual and systemic levels in many fire and emergency services departments.
In 2016, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) took the initiative to address bullying directly. That year the Bullying, Harassment and Workplace Violence Prevention Task Group was formed to raise awareness about the problem and offer potential solutions.
The WBI defines bullying as “repeated harmful abusive conduct that is threatening, intimidating, humiliating [and involving] work sabotage, or verbal abuse.” The IAFC task group defines its mission as addressing bullying, harassment and violence prevention in the fire service. The intention of the group is to treat bullying and associated behaviors as safety issues within the emergency services.
Nineteen cadets from the 34th Fire Training Academy Class took the oath of office in Cleveland on Friday.
According to a release, the new firefighters will serve in neighborhoods throughout Cleveland in an effort to improve service to residents.
One of the new firefighters is Justin Leon, who is the son of Wayne Leon, the Cleveland police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2000.
Cleveland Fire tweeted that Justin was issued the same badge number-- 1338-- that his father wore for the Cleveland Police Department.
"I don't remember a whole lot from my dad, I was 5 when he passed. I've always been told that he was very generous and very helpful and he was always just wanting to do the right thing and that he was always the guy to call when someone needed help," Justin said.
Cadet Justin Leon was pinned by his mother, Grace Leon, at Friday's ceremony.
"It's almost just like the legacy kind of lives on in a way," Justin said.
Fox 8 Cleveland