HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The National Coalition of Frontline Workers Foundation (NCFWF) is soon set to launch its national cancer reduction and prevention initiative in Pennsylvania to better protect the health of our Firefighters.

The NCFWF is a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission, according to their website, is to provide representation for frontline workers throughout the United States. Recently, the organization has recognized the necessity for aiding in cancer prevention and reduction among our frontline workers – specifically, our firefighters.

According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), firefighters have a 9% higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer and also have a 14% higher risk of dying from cancer in comparison to the general US population.

In addition to the higher risks regarding cancer diagnosis for our frontline firefighters, a 2022 review from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified firefighting as “carcinogenic to humans.”

According to the NCFWF, as of Jan. 2022, Pennsylvania had the most registered fire departments in the US, with 1,799 departments. Of the 1,799 departments, 90.1% are volunteer departments. In response to this recent data, the NCFWF plans to immediately start deploying decontamination kits, educational seminars, free equipment, and training to volunteer and career fire departments across the keystone state.

The Firefighter Cancer Reduction Initiative is set to be rolled out across Pennsylvania starting in February. According to the NCFWF, their personal goal is to spread this same initiative to the top ten highest effected areas across the U.S. by October 2023.

Over the next three years, the new initiative has a goal of providing decontamination kits to the 52,000 fire departments across the U.S. According to the NCFWF, the initiative will also offer the restocking of supplies on and as-needed-basis.

In partnership with the NCFWF, the Firefighter Cancer Reduction Initiative will also work together to push for legislative changes to improve protections and access to critical items relating to cancer prevention, such as:

  • Line of duty death beneifts
  • Healthcare
  • Equipment
  • Awareness for all fire & rescue personell

For more information on the NSFWF or to donate towards their cause you can visit www.frontlineworkers.org