Cancer among firefighters is at epidemic levels. With a 9 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer and a 14 percent higher risk of dying from cancer than the general population, it is easy to understand the increased risk firefighters face on the job. To address this urgent need, Hoods For Heroes (HFH) expanded its community partnership with Cancer Specialists of North Florida (CSNF) and delivered life-saving equipment to the men and women of St. Johns County fire service Dec. 15 at the Cancer Specialist office in St. Augustine.
Hoods For Heroes donated $40,000 worth of specialty hoods to more than 330 firefighters in St. Johns County and the City of St. Augustine. These special hoods provide a more effective barrier against cancer-causing chemicals that are absorbed into the skin during a fire, especially in the head and neck area where the skin is thinnest. Hoods For Heroes receives donations from individuals and organizations like Cancer Specialists of North Florida to purchase the hoods, which are then distributed at no charge to firefighters.
“We are excited to partner with CSNF. They are passionate about delivering innovation to cancer care and are committed to providing high-quality health care,” co-founder Bill Hamilton said. “Partnering with a leader in treating cancer and blood disorders will provide value to fire service and the surrounding communities.”
“Healthy firefighters support a healthy community,” added CEO Jeff Rountree.
Recently, Hoods For Heroes and CSNF also donated hoods to firefighters in Clay County, Florida. Hoods For Heroes is working to raise enough funds to provide every firefighter in America with at least one of the protective hoods.
“CSNF is delighted to partner with Hoods For Heroes,” Bob Phelan, CSNF CEO said. “Our goal is to provide these men and women with particulate hoods in order to prevent cancer before it occurs. However, if a firefighter gets sick, it is our job to step in and provide the best possible resources and treatment. Every day these first responders protect lives, and we feel passionate about protecting theirs in return.”