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Updated: 11 Best Practices for Preventing Firefighter Cancer

Posted: Oct. 7, 2021

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) have released an updated Lavender Ribbon Report. The report is designed to help firefighters protect themselves from carcinogen exposure and reinforce actions that lessen exposure risks.

Updated for 2021, the Lavender Ribbon Report: Best Practices for Preventing Firefighter Cancer PDF offers 11 specific, easy-to-follow actions for firefighters to reduce their risk of occupational cancer.

This update of the 2018 report includes a summary of each of these 11 best practices along with brief implementation guidance for each. It also provides additional information, such as:

  • Essays and research supporting the best practices.
  • Examples of how best practices were successfully implemented in fire departments.
  • Compelling personal stories from firefighters who have battled cancer.

The NVFC and the IAFC's Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS) encourages all fire departments to make these best practices part of their standard operating procedures. To serve as reminders for performing these essential protective actions, the NVFC, IAFC and VCOS have developed awareness posters for each of the 11 best practices for display in prominent locations in fire stations.

Cancer is a leading health risk facing today's firefighters. Studies have shown that firefighters, due to the occupational hazards they face, have higher rates of many types of cancer than the general population.

You can download the August 2018 Lavender Ribbon Report, the Lavender Ribbon Report Update, and the awareness posters for the 11 best practices on the NVFC's website.

This article is based on content in the
Oct. 7, 2021 InfoGram.

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