That word will make you think about change.

Since 1990, over 190 Boston firefighters have died of occupational cancer. This number is probably not representative of the full picture, as we count age, when a diagnosis is given, and years into retirement as factors in determining the presumption for occupational cancer.

In 2015, we launched our first video, followed shortly after with our second video. The videos shed light on the spate of cancer diagnoses affecting the Boston Fire Department. With the strong, collaborative labor management relationship between the department and Boston Fire Fighters, Local 718, along with the buy-in and support of Mayor Marty Walsh, we’re working together to mitigate exposures.  

This website supports the Take No Smoke campaign and shares information on our efforts to mitigate exposures whenever we can. Share these videos, use the Contact Us page to ask questions, and learn about our initiatives. Most importantly, adapt whatever you can to make it work within your department.

As firefighters, we all have days where we feel invincible. Don’t let cancer sneak up on you – wear your PPE, keep your mask on, clean your body up as soon as possible after a fire, and keep up with those annual physicals. If something doesn’t feel right, see your doctor and use Dr. Michael Hamrock’s letter to advocate for early, aggressive testing. Don’t forget to tell them what it’s like to be a firefighter and the dangers you face on the job.

The Boston Fire Department is changing. Our operations, our training, our approach continue to evolve. But we haven’t changed our traditions, who we are and what we do as Boston firefighters.