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Become a Gold Helmet Department

Posted: June 20, 2024

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Gold Helmet Department

Become a Gold Helmet Department

The Gold Helmet Challenge is an initiative from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to recognize fire departments that achieve high participation rates in the National Firefighter Registry (NFR) for Cancer among their active firefighters. Any department that enrolls 50% of their active firefighters or more than 300 active firefighters in the NFR will be recognized as a Gold Helmet Department.

Why is this important?

There are many unanswered questions about how cancer risk may vary across the country’s diverse fire service, so NIOSH is recruiting firefighters to join the NFR. This information will help researchers understand and reduce the risk of cancer among U.S. firefighters. This is the largest effort ever undertaken to understand and reduce the risk of cancer among U.S. firefighters.

What does being a Gold Helmet Department mean?

Gold Helmet Departments receive a certificate, web badge and social media posts to share. But more importantly, participation shows that the department is actively involved in helping researchers investigate the link between firefighting and cancer, and by doing so:

  • Helping protect firefighters from developing cancer.
  • Helping lessen the impact of cancer on firefighters’ families and friends.
  • Paving the way for new health and safety measures to keep the next generation of firefighters safe.

Registration is open to all firefighters in the United States, whether paid or volunteer, active or retired, with or without cancer, and no matter their length of service. Participation is voluntary. As of April 2024, more than 12,000 firefighters have enrolled.

Visit the NIOSH Gold Helmet Challenge page for more information, and to join the NFR for Cancer, register at

This article is based on content in the
June 20, 2024 InfoGram.

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