Occupational cancer is the leading cause of death among firefighters — surpassing heart disease, a press release said. The International Association of Fire Fighters and the Firefighter Cancer Support Network said they are committed to reversing this trend.

During Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month, the IAFF and FCSN will deliver targeted education and best practices and resources to reduce the impact of cancer on firefighters.

Materials focus on the scope of the cancer problem, prevention best practices, leadership tactics to encourage prevention and skills to help cancer survivors and departments reduce their risk of occupational cancer.

Topics are reinforced through online resources, such as daily training information and infographics that promote the program on social media and podcasts addressing cancer topics and the latest research.

“Cancer is the leading cause of death among firefighters, accounting for more than 65% of the line-of-duty deaths added to the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Wall of Honor each year,” IAFF General President Edward Kelly said. “We must educate ourselves and do everything we can to prevent occupational cancer.”

“As we continue to learn more about the link between firefighting and cancer, it is more important than ever that we take steps to minimize the risk firefighters face every single day,” FCSN CEO Bryan Frieders said. “The science around firefighter exposures is constantly changing but with continued research we learn more and more and are better equipped to introduce prevention practices to reduce our risk of developing occupational cancer.

For more information visit the Firefighter Cancer Support Network at firefightercancersupport.org or International Association of Fire Fighters, www.iaff.org.