STC educates Fire Academy cadets about cancer risks

STC educates Fire Academy cadets about cancer risks
9 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Wednesday, September 20 2023 Sep 20, 2023 September 20, 2023 11:12 AM September 20, 2023 in News - Local

Being a first responder can be a dangerous job and for firefighters there is an additional health risk; they can be exposed to cancer causing chemicals while fighting fires.

"It's scary, but I know what I am getting myself into. It's a risk I am able to take to help my community," STC fire cadet Andrew Cervantes said.

Cervantes' passion for helping others is the reason he wants to become a firefighter.

Attending the South Texas College Fire Academy includes learning about the possibility of being exposed to cancer causing chemicals.

"We are not going into it blind. We know the risks we are taking and the precautions we are taking to become a firefighter," Cervantes said.

STC, in collaboration with the Cancer Firefighter Support network, is helping educate the next generation of firefighters on how to minimize their exposure.

"Sixty-five percent of firefighters that have passed away have been for occupational cancer," STC Firefighter Instructor Oscar Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez says cancer is now the number one leading cause of death for firefighters.

He says this is the first time STC is offering the four-hour course after it was mandated by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection.

STC says they plan on hosting another firefighter cancer education class next semester with a new group of cadets.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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