Cadillac Fire Department takes big step in cancer prevention initiative
WEXFORD COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) — Firefighters in Wexford County now have new equipment that could help save their lives.
On Monday, the Cadillac Fire Department unveiled its new commercial washer and specialized dryer. The equipment will clean firefighters' gear better as part of the department’s Cancer Prevention Initiative.
Recent studies show firefighters have a greater risk of developing certain cancer than the general population. Cadillac Fire Marshal Anthony Wolff hopes the new equipment will help lower that risk by better removing carcinogens left by smoke and flames.
“The dirty, burnt out gear - when I started that was a badge of honor you wanted to be that firefighter, [however] that's not the firefighter you want to be anymore,” Wolff said. “Not only does it compromise the integrity of your gear and the way it performs, it’s also poisoning you so we're not only up against prevent cancer but we're trying to change an entire culture."
Wolff said it normally takes a day and a half to dry their gear. With the new gear, it will take three hours.
More than half of the $20,000 of improvements came from donations through businesses and organizations in the community.
Each year the Resurrection Life Church in Cadillac chooses an organization to support during their holiday season collection. Last year, they chose the Cadillac Fire Department and donated more than $9,000.
Advanced Mechanical and Electrical Services helped as well. The Michigan based company donated all of the installation and parts which would have cost the department more than $5,500.
Blick Dillon Insurance and Avon Automotive also contributed to the cause. The insurance company made a $2,500 donation. Avon Automotive provided a portable scene lighting system valued at more than $600.