Dogs to Screen Texas Firefighters for Cancer

By: Erica Garner – Big Country

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Dogs trained to sniff for tumors are going to help screen Abilene firefighters for cancer.

The Abilene Fire Fighters Association is conducting special screenings that involve firefighters wearing masks for 10 minutes while filling out some medical paperwork.

A press release says the masks will then be sent to a company that owns dogs that will sniff the masks to detect scents produced by cancer tumors.

Abilene Fire Fighters and Abilene Airport Fire Fighters are currently undergoing testing, and retired firefighters will soon be tested as well.

The Abilene Fire Fighters Association compiled the following statistics to highlight the importance of this project:

  • Cancer is the most dangerous threat to firefighter health and safety today.
  • Firefighters have a 9 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer than the general U.S. population.
  • Firefighters have a 14 percent higher risk of dying from cancer than the general U.S. population.
  • Cancer caused 61 percent of the career firefighter line-of-duty deaths from January 1, 2002, to December 31, 2016, according to data from the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).
  • Cancer caused 62 percent of the line-of-duty deaths for career firefighters in 2015.
Posted in Current Events, Fire Service, Firefighter Cancer, Firefighter Health, Firefighting.