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November 21, 2017
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Cancer
Posted On: Jul 13, 2017

      We are all aware that cancer has become more than a buzzword in our chosen profession.  Prevention and detection have become engrained in our way of life.  That being said, the Local 440 board would like to offer some suggestions.  In July 2016 the city of Independence, Missouri and the Local 781 passed a collective measure to outline the 11 decon steps during and after every fire.  Their Local 781 President was glad to share with us.  

  1. Use your SCBA from initial fire attack to completion of overhaul.  The most dangerous voluntary activity in the fire service today is not wearing your SCBA in both active and post-fire environments.
  2. Perform gross field decon of your PPE to remove as much soot and particulates as possible.
  3. Use wet wipes to remove as much soot as possible from head, neck, jaw, throat, underarms and hands immediately and while still on the scene.
  4. Prior to returning to quarters, remove all bunker gear and place directly on the floor of the apparatus to facilitate easier decontamination inside the apparatus (instead of leaving your shoes on the bay floor, take them with you in the apparatus to use after doffing your PPE at the scene).
  5. Change your clothes and wash them immediately after a fire
  6. "Shower within an hour."  Shower immediately after a fire.
  7. Clean your PPE, gloves, hood and helmet immediately after a fire.
  8. Do not take contaminated clothing or PPE home or store it in your vehicle.
  9. Decon apparatus interior after fires.
  10. Keep bunker gear out of living and sleeping quarters.
  11. Do not wear your bunker gear unless responding to an emergency.

      It is all of our jobs to take care of each other and ourselves when it comes to decontamination and prevention.  If we manage to follow the guidelines of the NFPA, common sense, and the guidelines above, we stand a much better chance of making it out alive.


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