The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is collaborating with 4C faculty to create more effective ways to reduce the vulnerability of firefighters to a variety of cancers. We are working with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Coral Springs Fire Department, and other fire services across South Florida to develop a campaign that aims to increase firefighters’ willingness to engage in a variety of preventive behaviors that will reduce their cancer risks, including cleaning gear and engaging in decontamination processes after fires. Campaign strategies are based on the findings from formative research that included focus groups with firefighters, and ride-alongs and observations of firefighter work and communication practices.
Additionally, this team is creating a new easy-to-use web app that will allow firefighters to enter simple, but important information about the characteristics of each fire, so we can measure their exposure to potentially damaging toxic compounds. This will provide important information to epidemiologists assessing cancer risks to firefighters.