Setting The Precedent
The IAFF (International Association of Fire Fighters) is an organization representing firefighters and emergency medical personnel. The organization is authoritative in dictating beneficial services to its members and setting precedent for firefighter processes.
In August of 2022, the IAFF unanimously decided to delegate $500,000 annually to the organization’s work against occupational cancer. Named, Resolution 19, the decision will allow the IAFF to test current cancer research as well as fund its own independent research.
Cancer is the leading cause of line-of-duty death for personnel in fire service. According to the NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), firefighters face a 14% increase in cancer-related deaths when compared to the general population. Additionally, 75% of firefighters who were added to the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial between 2015-2020 passed away from occupational cancer.
The IAFF’s first Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Danny Whu, M.D., MPH, has worked for firefighters to utilize more protective gear while at the scene of a fire, leaning on past research related to deadly pathogens and cancer. Increased resources will also allow research into cancer-causing chemicals, such as PFAS, that are commonly found in turnout gear.
IAFF General President Edward Kelly, the General Secretary-Treasurer, and other organization members will be pivotal in regulating the distribution of funds for research.
Click here to read the full IAFF article on Resolution 19.