Every day, firefighters put their lives on the line to protect the communities they serve. They are continuously exposed to various toxins and carcinogens and, as a result of this exposure, firefighters have significantly increased cancer incidence and mortality rates. Cancer has become an epidemic in the fire service.
To help protect the 169 members of Tempe Fire Medical Rescue, Tempe has launched a cancer-screening program. The program aims to catch cancer in its infancy, when survivability is increased, cost is decreased and potential detriment is mitigated much sooner. It is a way for the city to be proactive and ensures that those taking care of the community are healthy.
All firefighters will receive an initial cancer screening, a dermatological screening and a full-body exam.
Tempe/Chandler Wrangler News
PHOTO: As a firefighter — not just any crew member, but the superintendent of the T1 Flagstaff Interagency Hotshots — Bill Kuche over the years has tackled many assignments that have saved lives and property.
Now, the 49-year-old Flagstaff resident is facing is a major health crisis that threatens his own life.
Kuche has had chronic kidney disease since a childhood bout of the streptococcal virus — strep throat — but for more than 30 years has been able to work full-time as a firefighter and wildfire official, managing his condition through medication and a healthy lifestyle.
But last month, according to Kuche’s daughter, Grace, his regular blood work detected problems and his health swiftly declined. Last week, on the same day as his 20th wedding anniversary, Kuche had to be rushed to Flagstaff Medical Center for emergency surgery to prepare for dialysis.
His condition has worsened to Stage 5, his daughter said, and Kuche is on a waiting list to receive a kidney transplant.
Arizona Daily Sun
VIDEO: Mesa Fire and Medical Department firefighters and Native Air Ambulance turned a terrible day into a dream come true for a Mesa 3-year-old Monday.
"He loves fire trucks," said 3-year-old Mack Porter's mom, Dani.
Back in January, doctors diagnosed Mack with cancer.
"He has anaplastic large cell lymphoma, and he is stage 3," said Dani.
Monday, on his third birthday, he had chemo, so Mesa firefighters stepped in to make his morning a little easier. Fire crews picked Mack up and showed him the fire truck. Dressed in a fire suit, Mack might be the youngest and cutest firefighter ever to wear the uniform. Crews drove him to a Native Air helicopter.
Family and friends sent him off to the hospital with a cake pop and a little birthday celebration. Mack smiled and enjoyed exploring his rides. It's a memory his mom treasures.
KASW-CW6 & KTVK-3TV (azfamily.com)
PHOTO: More than 800 COVID-19 vaccines were brought to Buena High School Saturday to immunize county residents.
People lined up at the school gymnasium entrance next to the student parking lot. A steady flow of residents who had made appointments patiently waited to check in for the shots.
Cochise County Health and Social Services Director Alicia Thompson was on hand to assist in checking in people with other county employees also helping.
Fry Fire District was there along with Sierra Vista Fire and Medical Services to assist. Also were nurses and employees from the Sierra Vista Unified School District and Cochise College nursing program students.
Administering vaccinations and manning the first row of vaccines was Fry Fire Department Chief Mark Savage, who was also giving out booster shots to those requiring a second dose.
Sierra Vista Herald