(COLORADO SPRINGS) — In 2022 the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial had almost 75% of names added due to occupational cancer. In response, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) are designating January as Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month.

According to the IAFF, cancer has surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of death among firefighters. The 2022 memorial had 348 out of 469 names added due to occupational cancer.

During the month of January, the IAFF and FCSN will partner to deliver education and best practices to reduce the impact of cancer on firefighters.

The month-long campaign will include safety stand-downs, factsheets, podcasts, survivor stories, and training briefs. The materials will focus on the scope of the cancer problem, prevention, best practices, survivorship, and leadership tactics to help reduce the risk of occupational cancer.

 “We must educate ourselves and do everything we can to extinguish cancer from the fire service. Together, the IAFF and FCSN are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to keep firefighters healthy on and off the job,” said IAFF General President Edward Kelly.