Today’s firefighters will most likely not die in a fire saving a life; they will die in a hospital bed from complications caused by work-related cancer. While every fire setting is unique, each one poses significant safety risks. Buildings contain materials that when burnt, put firefighters at risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals and substances that are breathed in, ingested, and absorbed through the skin and eyes. According to the CDC, firefighters are 14% more likely to die from cancer and have a 9% higher chance of being diagnosed than the general population.
We’ve found that exposed turnout gear and respiratory equipment can contaminate firefighters, vehicles, and fire stations. So we founded CAPP with the sole purpose of teaching and reinforcing best practices for firefighters in the workplace to prevent further exposure to hazards. By putting an emphasis on Clean Air, Clean Body, and Clean Gear education, our mission is to promote a culture of best practices within fire stations nationwide.
The following videos will walk you through each category while teaching practices you can carry out at the station every day. Just a few minutes of your time can make a big difference in your health over the course of your career. Every day you’re on duty is an obligation to save lives, it’s time to apply the best practices that will save yours too.
In 2015, we launched our CAPP program to try and get to the bottom of the question, “What’s killing our firefighters?” – the answer wasn’t fire. Today’s firefighter will most likely not die in a fire saving a life; they will die in a hospital bed from work-related cancer. 2015 revealed shocking statistics of firefighters battling work-related cancers. Cancers that we believe to be preventable. CAPP was founded with the sole purpose to reinforce best practices of firefighters in the workplace specializing in Clean Air, Clean Body, and Clean Gear.
The program includes a mandatory cancer training class, an impact video, warning identifiers, behavioral and cultural changes to prevent cancer, and posters of peers in every fire station and apparatus. Most importantly, our CAPP Program is on a mission to break down stereotypes of what it means to be a firefighter and educate them on how to protect themselves every day from the threat of cancer.
These videos just begin to scratch the surface of cancer prevention practices you can implement at your station. Visit our YouTube page now to watch our full tutorial and become certified.
If you would like a more in-depth presentation, schedule a FREE in-person training with our CAPP team today.
In-person training includes:
One of our program’s main goals is to share what we’ve built and make our program available to Firefighters everywhere for free. Yes, we said FREE!
It’s easy for any fire station or department to take what we have created and implement it to start making change. From our informative posters of peers who have battled cancer and won, to warning and identifier stickers place throughout the stations to serve as reminders, and the most impactful piece of our program…our 8-minute CAPP video.
Our video took six months to produce and shares the life-changing stories of 12 San Diego Fire-Rescue Department cancer survivors on their journey to protect and serve the public, but found themselves being the ones who needed assistance. These brave men and women opened up to FirefighterAid and our film producer, Jason Curtis, about their journey. They shared things they could have done differently and what they now do differently to protect themselves.
A special thank you to the brave men and women who have shared their stories to affect positive change.
In this one-hour video you will see the entire CAPP presentation as delivered by our CAPP Ambassador, Kurtis Bennett to a group of San Diego County’s top fire personnel. Kurtis spent years researching firefighter occupational cancers, interviewing and connecting with researchers, authors, and firefighters to build a straightforward approach to fighting occupational cancer. Our presentation is broken down into three simple components and focuses on behavioral changes that is easily be applied to any fire station and department.
See just how easy it is to implement the 3 C’s (Clean Air, Clean Body, Clean Gear) into your department’s every day routine.
If you believe in staying on air,
If you believe in washing your gear,
If you believe in doing the small things every day that stand to make a big difference over the course of your career,
Then put this sticker on the back of your helmet and show everyone that you believe in doing the right thing!
You don’t have to know everything, but you should know yourself and your body pretty well. So if something seems off, you should head to your health care provider and talk to them about it as soon as possible. Listen to your friends, coworkers, and family – they know you pretty well too. While we don’t want anything to ever happen to you, we do want you to be healthy and well taken care of. Being a firefighter or the family of a firefighter can be difficult, and there are many health hazards that can come with the job. That being said, even if you are curious, you should be screened for cancer. Early detection can make a world of difference for many cancer warriors.
It can be very scary, and we understand that. However, you are NEVER alone. We are here for you; your brothers and sisters in the fire service are here for you; and your family is here for you. Please be sure to get regular screenings, wipe down and shower after responding to a fire, wash your turnouts, and wear your breather to help reduce your risks. Additionally, keep yourself educated.
Check out some of the additional resources below to be sure you know warning signs, possible carcinogen origins, and more. If you have questions, please talk to your health care provider as soon as possible. We are all here with you through this journey.
Building a successful cancer program won’t happen over night, but we’ve given you a great place to start! All the tools you need to start saving firefighter lives are already at your disposal! Yes, you can always do more and purchase the fancy tools to help aid you in your journey, but you can start for free today.
So, why are you still here?! Be a part of the positive cultural and behavioral change and get our CAPP Program in your fire station or your department now! That’s right, we said FREE.