The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a motion introduced by Supervisor Kathryn Barger and co-authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn proclaiming January as Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month in Los Angeles County.
The motion was catalyzed by research that shows firefighters are more likely to be diagnosed with certain types of cancer than the general public.
“Ensuring the health and well-being of our County’s firefighters is critical to keeping them and our communities safe,” said Barger. “The heart of this motion is about reducing cancer among firefighters by delivering targeted education and extending support to those navigating a cancer diagnosis. I’m hopeful firefighting agencies across our County will join this month-long campaign to focus on prevention and mitigation. We all need to do our part to increase awareness and support for our brave first responders.”
“While firefighters are at work saving lives, they’re exposed to hazardous materials that put their own long-term health on the line,” said Hahn. “We can’t forget about the wellbeing of our brave men and women who respond to fires and natural disasters. They and their families deserve all of our support.”
“Firefighter cancer is the leading cause of line of duty deaths in the fire service,” said Bryan Frieders, president of the Firefighter Cancer Support Network and the city of Pasadena’s retired fire chief. “This motion will help promote the necessary tools and guidance to develop life saving protocols for cancer prevention and support to firefighters who are diagnosed with cancer. The Firefighter Cancer Support Network extends their deepest gratitude and appreciation to Supervisor Barger, Supervisor Hahn, and the entire County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors for their action today.”