The Clinton Township Division of Fire is meeting firefighter cancer prevention head-on at its new fire station located at 3820 Cleveland Avenue. According to data from the International Association of Firefighters, cancer has caused 61 percent of career firefighters’ line-of-duty deaths from 2002 to 2017.
Armed with that knowledge, the Division had the ability to utilize recommendations from conducted research concerning cancer among firefighters when constructing the new fire station. Features of the new fire station, aimed at reducing firefighters’ exposures to carcinogens and other harmful contaminants, include:
- Air handling equipment
- A diesel exhaust removal system to keep contaminants in the air from the living quarters
- A turnout gear washer
- Designated areas to clean and store equipment
- First of its kind decontamination corridor to allow firefighters the ability to remove contaminants before entering the living quarters
“Our long-time practice was to exit a burning building, hop in the cab of the truck with our contaminated gear on, go back to the station and wear our contaminated uniform throughout to continue our daily activities,” said Clinton Township Fire Chief Brian Fraley. “This was just increasing the exposure time to our firefighters and contaminating the living quarters with carcinogens and other harmful contaminants.
Other cancer fighting practices include deconning before leaving a fire scene, wearing EMS gloves and N95 masks when in contact with contaminated items, allowing time between calls to rid the firefighters of contaminated materials and requiring firefighters to shower before entering the living quarters.
The plans for the new fire station were developed in early 2016 and the Division began operations in September 2018.
For more information, contact Rachael Adams, Information Specialist at Clinton Township.