The Boston Fire Department has released the fourth video in a series addressing firefighter contamination and occupational cancer. The most recent video, Fighting Back, shows powerful vignettes from survivors, firehouse colleagues, a Boston-area doctor, Commissioner Joe Finn and Mayor Marty Walsh.
Throughout the ten-minute clip the city’s first responders share their personal experiences, diagnoses, the traumatic toll that cancer has had on them and their loved ones, and the new safety perspectives they are embracing and advocating for today.
Since 2015, BFD has creatively shared health and safety statistics and messages with the global fire community and the general public through their Take No Smoke campaign.
BFD’s initial video focused on the toll that cancer has taken in the ranks of their department. It had an emotional impact on the fire service and the average Joe.
The second piece shed light on the prevention measures that firefighters need to take to ensure that they are safer from the carcinogens that lurk in their PPE, equipment, apparatus and firehouses.
In December, the third installation debuted with 40-year-old Boston firefighter Glenn Preston in the spotlight. A married father of four children under the age of 10, Preston is in the fight of his life. NFPA Journal’s May 2017 issue covered Preston’s journey in an article called, Facing Cancer.
Boston has made firefighter contamination and cancer their mission these past few years by developing emotionally-charged videos; by working with Dana Farber on researching firehouse hazards; and by adopting a tactical approach to health and safety. Boston is certainly not alone in this fight. NFPA, national fire organizations, and authorities in communities from North Carolina, to Texas, to Florida, and in wildfire territories are passionately looking at ways to protect the nation’s first responders.