The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously proclaimed January as Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month.
Introduced by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, the motion is aimed at supporting firefighters who have been diagnosed with cancer and providing firefighters “the necessary tools and guidance to develop life-saving protocols for cancer prevention.”
Cancer caused by occupational hazards, such as toxins from smoke and soot, are the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths of firefighters, according to the motion.
“Firefighters have a 9% greater chance of being diagnosed with cancer and a 14% greater chance of dying from cancer than the general population,” the motion states.
The proclamation is also meant to raise awareness of occupational cancer and early detection of cancer through screenings and early treatment.
“Ensuring the health and well-being of our county’s firefighters is one of my top priorities so we can keep our communities safe,” Barger said in a statement after the board vote. “The heart of this motion is about reducing cancer among firefighters by delivering targeted education and extending support to those navigating a cancer diagnosis. I’m hopeful the firefighting agencies in our county will join this month-long campaign to focus on prevention and mitigation. There is no doubt that this effort will increase awareness and save lives.”