But Polek often gets called to help other stations, so there’s a good chance they had worked together over the years.
For years, researchers have been connecting firefighters’ exposure to burning materials with a higher risk of cancer.
Pennsylvania law says firefighters can receive workers compensation if they can prove their cancer was caused by job exposures, but such claims routinely get rejected because it’s so difficult to make that connection.
Meanwhile, firefighters like Derrick Moffett, 36, are left to wonder if the work they love is compromising their health. “When the doctor told me, I jokingly asked for a second opinion,” Moffett said.
One of the biggest safety initiatives includes buying second suits for all firefighters.
The number of fire deaths in the civilian population have decreased from 14 per 1 million in 2001 to 11 per 1 million residents in 2010, a drop of more than 20% according to USFA and half what it was in the late 1970s.
But statistics like these have set the stage for battles in many cities over the budgets for fire departments, paramedics, and other emergency responders. But the city’s fire staffing is stagnant or even reduced, with as many as 100 front-line currently unfilled positions in addition to another 100 eliminated, according to the firefighters union.
The largest study of its kind, released last year by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), examined data on 30,000 firefighters from Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco.
It found “modestly increased all-cancer risk compared with the general population.” “These findings contribute to the evidence of a causal association between firefighting exposures and cancer,” the study said.
Patients with mycosis fungoides have a good prognosis with the proper care.