CHANDLER, Ariz. – The Chandler Fire Department is now offering cancer screening to its first responders as the latest in a series of measures to reduce and mitigate exposure to carcinogens.
The Chandler City Council has approved a $963,400 grant agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the use of $96,340 in City funds for the purchase of enhanced cancer prevention and diagnosis services from Vincere Cancer Center. Those services provide Chandler Fire personnel with access to a wide variety of screenings, scans, blood work and other tests for early detection of cancers through May 2024.
The cancer screening services add to the menu of mitigation steps being taken by the Chandler Fire Department to limit exposure to carcinogens found in smoke and off gassing chemicals and materials.
Chandler’s efforts begin on the scene of incidents through procedures and personal protective equipment that reduce firefighter exposure to hazardous substances. Firefighters then take extensive decontamination measures after incidents and training exercises as well as report exposures to smoke and other combustible materials.
Each firefighter is outfitted with two complete sets of turnouts so that one set can be cleaned after an exposure. Chandler Fire also is purchasing extractors, a type of powerful washing machine, for each fire station to expedite the cleaning process for turnouts. Turnouts and boots remain in the apparatus bay to avoid decontamination of the firefighter’s living quarters.
Even the design and use of fire stations have been altered to incorporate transition rooms and create distance between the apparatus bay and firefighter living quarters, which further limits exposure to diesel fumes and hazardous substances.
Chandler Fire Department
Public Information Officer