The importance of decontamination and cleaning - You make the call

CFP_Newsletter_Article5_250x300_v1.jpgContrary to public perception, the major cause of death for firefighters is not fire—it’s cancer. From January 1, 2002, to March 31, 2017, cancer caused 61 percent of career firefighter line-of-duty deaths, according to the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), with 70 percent in 2016 alone. Firefighters have a 9 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer—and 14 percent higher risk of dying from the disease—than the general U.S. population, according to the CDC/National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH). (For more details read “The Hidden Killers of Firefighters,” also in this issue.)

To help combat this devastating statistic, Florida—with a $1 million grant from the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and in partnership with the Florida Firefighters Safety and Health Collaborative and Fire Fighter Cancer Support Network—has provided more than 4,500 decontamination (decon) kits for each fire apparatus in the state. The kits are essential in the battle to reduce firefighters’ exposure from the cancer-causing byproducts of combustion. 

Decon Kit Contents:

  • Green decon bucket and lid
  • Five 55-gal, 6 mil clear bags to contain off-gassing from contaminated gear
  • Duct tape to seal the bags
  • 14 oz spray bottle of CitroSqueeze® PPE and turnout gear cleaner
  • 8 oz bottle of CitroSqueeze® gear cleaner sample to use in an extractor
  • Canister of 45 Hygenall® field wipes to remove heavy metals from dermal areas
  • 1 qt spray bottle of Hygenall® ToxOff™ to clean equipment
  • Short-handle scrub brush to wash gear
  • 50 feet of 5/8 inch hose tested by decon experts
  • Hose nozzle
  • Adapter, 2.5-inch female X to .75-inch male GHT
  • Collapsible cone to designate the decon area

You Make the Call:

Former National Director, Community Hazard Mitigation, Verisk. Tom Weber is now retired.

ISO Fire Suppression Rating Schedule

Our Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) is free to chiefs and other fire officials. It's a manual containing the criteria Verisk uses in reviewing the fire prevention and fire suppression capabilities of individual communities or fire protection areas. To recieve a copy of the FSRS, contact our National Processing Center at 1-800-444-4554 and select Option 2.

H2O and Verisk

Water supply and distribution systems are important factors in determining a community’s ISO Public Protection Classification (PPC®). We provide complimentary educational training and seminars to water providers and associations throughout the country. Contact Hugh Gibson, national water resources manager, at for more information.

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