Firefighters put their lives on the line every day for people in their communities. They tackle tall flames, traverse thick smoke, and conduct daunting rescues, among other services.
Studies show men and women in the profession also face an elevated risk for a cancer diagnosis.
To improve monitoring and research on this topic, President Donald Trump signed House Resolution 931 into law recently to establish a National Firefighter Cancer Registry.
The Oklahoma State Firefighters Association (OSFA) has been working with lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to accomplish this for some time. OSFA Executive Director Steve Lumry said he hopes the new registry will help future generations of firefighters.
The voluntary registry will be run by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Researchers will collect information about risk, causal factors and the impacts of cancer on firefighters. The CDC will also include specified information in the registry, including the number and type of fire incidents attended by an individual.
“This is an important event for firefighters and we are pleased to have worked with our senators and representatives in Congress to make this happen,” Lumry said.