Firefighter decontamination challenges: Knowledge versus practice
Is the increased awareness about the risk of cancer moving firefighters to take action?
An extensive amount of information has been developed by fire service organizations like the IAFC and IAFF as well as non-fire service organizations like the Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation and the Firefighter Cancer Support Network to educate us on the benefits of post-fire decontamination of your body and equipment, but a recent survey reports that awareness is necessarily turning into action.
“Overall, firefighters reported positive attitudes, beliefs, and perceived norms about decontamination, but showering after a fire was the only decontamination process that occurred regularly, with field decontamination, use of cleansing wipes, routine gear cleaning, and other behaviors all occurring less frequently. Firefighters reported time and concerns over wet gear as barriers to decontamination.”