By Michael Mora, WINK:
Every time a firefighter runs into a burning building, they become a magnet for contaminants and carcinogens, without insurance for their loved ones if they eventually develop cancer from the exposure.
“It’s an epidemic that is horrible right now in the fire service,” said Tom “Bull” Hill, Carrying My Brothers Burden organizer and former Orange County firefighter.
A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show firefighters are 14 percent more likely to die from cancer than an average person.
It is a statistic that is not lost on Hill.
“The state deems that firemen don’t need any kind of help or protection when they get cancer even though it’s an on-the-job illness,” Hill said. “When you die, your family is left with no insurance.”
Several fire departments in SWFL are equipped with a decontamination kit to help prevent cancer immediately after firefighters respond to calls. But, Florida is one of eight states that does not provide cancer benefits for firefighters, which is why Hill, a retired firefighter from Central Florida, is on a mission to spark change.
Read the full story here.