Calendar raises money to protect firefighters from cancer

By Tiffany Lane
KSN – September 11, 2018


A local group is working to fight cancer among firefighters with the click of a camera.

Prevention is the main effort the Kansas Firefighters Alliance is hoping to achieve.

Monday, they did a special photo shoot to raise money for awareness and to keep our firefighters who already risk their live, safe from cancer.

“Firefighters have about a 33 percent higher chance of getting cancer than the normal population,” said Tim Millspaugh, who is retired from the Sedgwick County Fire Department. “Those in big cities, the percentage is even higher.”

Retired Sedgwick County Fire Captain Thomas Strunk is someone who has experienced it first-hand.

“I am a retired firefighter that was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, kidney cancer, shortly after retirement and I’ve been in treatment now for a little over six years, but I’m surviving,” he said.

That story of survival is one that Strunk shares with other firefighters being featured in the 2019 Kansas Firefighter Calendar, like Tom Richardson.

His time with the Sedgwick County Fire Department was shortened because of his fight with prostate cancer.

“They put their lives on the line every day and then just when you’re- you think you’re about to the end of your career and everything’s good, then cancer pops up and then that’s a whole other battle,” said Richardson.

But, those who have already had to face cancer, and their supporters, are making sure firefighters still serving the community are protecting themselves.

“Awareness of keeping your bunker gear clean, decontaminating yourself after fires, to make sure that you get all those carcinogens wiped off,” said John Troyer, a retired firefighter from Sedgwick County Fire District 1.

“We have to separate the politics and see what’s happening here and it’s been proven across the country that firefighters have a high rate of cancer,” said Strunk. “So, let’s do something about that before they get it.”

Some of the money raised from the calendar sales will go towards decontamination wipes for firefighters across the state.

These wipes help lower the temperature for firefighter’s skin after a fire and slow the rate of absorption.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

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