Best Practices for Preventing Firefighter Cancer Posters

VCOS Best Practices Cancer Poster

The Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) partnered to develop and create the Lavender Ribbon Report: Best Practices for Preventing Firefighter Cancer. Out of the Lavender Ribbon Report the VCOS and the NVFC have worked to develop several posters to help you promote cancer prevention in your department.

The 11 Best Practices for Preventing Firefighter Cancer Poster


The VCOS and the NVFC, along with the Fire Service Occupational Cancer Alliance, the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN), and with support from California Casualty, have developed a poster of the 11 best practices for preventing firefighter cancer. The poster provides all fire department leaders and firefighting personnel with specific actions that must be taken to address the cancer epidemic and protect firefighters.

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Individual Best Practice Posters

Best Practice One Poster


Full protective equipment (PPE) must be worn throughout the entire incident, including SCBA during salvage and overhaul.

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Best Practice Two Poster


A second hood should be provided to all entry-certified personnel in the department.

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Best Practice Three Poster


Following exit from the IDLH, and while still on air, you should begin immediate gross decon of PPE using soap water and a brush, if weather conditions allow. PPE should then be placed into a sealed plastic bag and placed in an exterior compartment of the rig, or if responding in POVs, placed in a large storage tote, thus keeping the off-gassing PPE away from passengers and self.

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Best Practice Four Poster


After completion of gross decon procedures, and while still on scene, the exposed areas of the body (neck, face, arms and hands) should be wiped off immediately using wipes, which must be carried on all apparatus. Use the wipes to remove as much soot as possible from head, neck, jaw, throat, underarms and hands immediately.

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Best Practice Five Poster


Change your clothes and wash them after exposure to products of combustion or other contaminants. Do this as soon as possible and/or isolate in a trash bag until washing is available.

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Best Practice Six Poster


Shower as soon as possible after being exposed to products of combustion or other contaminants. “Shower within the Hour”.

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Best Practice Seven Poster


PPE, especially turnout pants, must be prohibited in areas outside the apparatus floor (i.e. kitchen, sleeping areas, etc.) and never in the household.

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Best Practice Eight Poster


Wipes, or soap and water, should also be used to decontaminate and clean apparatus seats, SCBA and interior crew area regularly, especially after incidents where personnel were exposed to products of combustion.

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Best Practice Nine Poster


Get an annual physical, as early detection is the key to survival. The NVFC outlines several options at “A Healthcare Provider’s Guide to Firefighter Physicals” can be downloaded from

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Best Practice Ten Poster


Tobacco products of any variety, including dip and e-cigarettes should never be used at anytime on or off duty.

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Best Practice Eleven Poster


Fully document ALL fire or chemical exposures on incident reports and personal exposure reports.

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Want them all?

Download All 11 Individual Posters