Birmingham Firefighters Raising Money to Fight Cancer in Firefighters

Birmingham Firefighters Raising Money to Fight Cancer in Firefighters

(City of Birmingham, Feb. 22, 2018)

BIRMINGHAM, MI, February 20, 2018 – The Birmingham Firefighters Local 911 is raising funds to help support fellow firefighters battling cancer across the area. The local firefighters union began selling wrist bracelets earlier this year for $5 with the wording “Firefighters Against Cancer/ No One Fights Alone” to help those firefighters who are not covered under the State of Michigan’s Cancer Presumption Fund. The legislation created the First Responders Fund and directs the state’s worker’s compensation agency to pay claims and administer the fund.

“In 2014, the state adopted Public Act 515, the Cancer Presumption Act for First Responders,” said Jeff Scaife, President of Birmingham Firefighters Local 911. “We appreciated the actions taken by the state, however, the act does not cover those afflicted prior to 2014. We want to make sure those firefighters who are battling cancer before then aren’t left behind.”

Recent studies have shown that current active firefighters are 60% more likely to contract cancer than the average person, due in part to the hazardous materials they are confronted with when a building catches fire.  The synthetic fibers, aldehydes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and toluene, among others, have proven to not only be life threatening upon inhalation, but also increase the risk of various cancers. Among them are: skin, brain, bladder, kidney, thyroid, prostate and lymphatic cancers, to name a few.

Birmingham’s Fire Department has adopted policies to help reduce the risk its force can face with steps such as: washing firefighting gear on a regular basis; washing floors where fire trucks’ park; wearing their self-contained breathing apparatus throughout an incident and having cleaning wipes on scene to wipe the soot and toxins off their skin prior to returning to the station after a run.

Cancer bracelets have been sold in North Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, South Carolina, and many locations throughout Michigan. The proceeds from the $5 cancer bracelets go to help firefighters in need, and they have raised more than $2,500 to date, with plans to offer cancer t-shirts to further their fund-raising efforts.  If you are interested in purchasing a bracelet or making a donation, send an email to: You can also get information on the Facebook page at Birmingham Firefighters Association Local 911 Against Cancer.

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