The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and International Association of Fire Chiefs’ (IAFC) Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS) released the Lavender Ribbon Report last year to detail 11 actions firefighters need to take to reduce their risks of occupational cancer. As part of this continued initiative, the VCOS and NVFC have developed 11 posters to highlight each of the best practices and remind firefighters to protect themselves and their crew.
Studies have shown that firefighters have increased rates of multiple types of cancer when compared with the general population. Reducing exposure to toxins and carcinogens encountered is critical in protecting firefighter health. The best practices presented in the Lavender Ribbon Report should be adopted in all fire departments and adhered to by all firefighters in order to decrease the risks responders face.
The new posters can be hung up at the station to remind firefighters of the actions they need to take to protect themselves and their crew. Departments can also use the poster images in social media, newsletters, and other correspondence with their members as periodic safety reminders.
“Firefighters are contracting cancer at alarming rates, and it is imperative that we all work together to raise awareness of this threat and educate firefighters of the specific actions they need to take to reduce their risks,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “I encourage all department leaders to download the Lavender Ribbon Report, adopt the best practices into your standard operating procedures, and utilize the 11 posters to educate your members and reinforce these life-saving messages.”
“The VCOS continues to advocate for fire and emergency services along with our peers of the NVFC and other Fire Service Organizations, in the battle against occupational cancer,” said VCOS Chair Charles Flynn. “The Lavender Ribbon Report: Best Practices for Preventing Firefighter Cancer and now the 11 best practice posters are our way of ensuring we provide information, education and services to our members, so they can help protect their personnel now and in the future.”
Download the Lavender Ribbon Report and the 11 best practice posters at www.nvfc.org/lrr or VCOS.org/BeatFFCancer. Find additional resources for occupational cancer risk reduction at www.nvfc.org/cancer and VCOS.org/BeatFFCancer.