• FOX23 Investigates: Health issues plague firefighters

    By: Michelle Linn

    Updated:

    TULSA, Okla. - Quick Facts:

    • The International Association of Firefighters, Firefighter Cancer Support Network, Centers For Disease Control And Prevention say firefighters face a greater risk of cancer and a shorter life span, because of toxins they are exposed to fighting fires, those toxins can coat their protective gear. 
    • Those groups say firefighters face a 14% greater risk of death by cancer and a 10 year shorter life span- According to the International Association of Firefighters cancer caused 70% of line of duty deaths for career firefighters in 2016
    • The Tulsa Fire Department is working to change the culture and get firefighters to remove and launder their bunker gear after fires
    • They have two special washing machines, called extractors, at TFD headquarters in downtown Tulsa and will soon have four more online.
    • The department would like to put extractors in every fire station, to help fire fighters clean their bunker gear.
    • TFD would like to provide each firefighter with two sets of structural bunker gear, so they don’t have to wear dirty gear to a second fire. Each set of structural bunker gear costs close to $3,000
    • A $445,000 grant from different sources will allow the TFD to purchase 700 sets of lighter dual-certified utility gear that fire fighters can wear when responding to grass fires, car accidents or urban search and rescue events. That will allow them to only wear the heavier structural bunker gear into fire scenes –
    • TFD is working to organize a Home Run Derby in April to raise money for additional structural bunker gear.
    • WATCH FOX23 Michelle Linn's full story WEDNESDAY on FOX23 News at 5:45

     

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