Protecting fire crews against cancer

Published:  30 November, 2012

As a long term contributor and advocate in fire rescue industry, Acting Chief David Michaels of the City of York Fire Rescue Services in York, Pennsylvania has seen an important need to protect firefighters from the dangers of exposure to the cancer causing components of diesel exhaust in a fire station. Due to this hazardous exposure found within the fire station, unfortunately, firefighters are in a high-risk group of getting cancer.

For Michaels, previous applications of other attempted solutions including onboard vehicle filters, resulted without success. Starting as an Administrative Assistant Chief and then appointed in 2010 to Deputy Chief, and now currently Acting Chief, Michaels saw the need to push to the forefront the urgency to resolve this high priority safety issue of firefighters exposed in the City of York fire stations. With the release of the “USFA and NIOSH Initiate Study of Cancer Among Firefighters” in 2010, the fire department realised the need to accelerate the resolution of this safety concern.

With exhaustive research and review by Michaels of all available solutions, it was decided that a direct source capture connection to each fire apparatus tailpipe would be the answer. The Plymovent Magnetic Grabber vehicle exhaust extraction system was carefully reviewed and examined at neighboring fire departments and was found to be the best solution to this long term station safety issue and concern amongst firefighters and their families.

“Our first Plymovent Magnetic Grabber exhaust vehicle extraction system was installed and connected to five vehicles at station #2 on West Market Street in May of 2011, providing excellent results and positive firefighter endorsement. 'It has been successfully applied and easily utilised by our firefighters, with an overall resolution of the carcinogens  exposure to diesel exhaust at that station. We have completed the remaining three Stations #1, 5 and 9, which house an additional eight fire apparatus in some of the oldest continually operating fire stations in the United States in September of 2012 . As a direct result of applying the Plymovent Magnetic Grabber vehicle exhaust system, we have resolved our #1 concern in our station – the safety of our firefighters and creating a safer work environment.'

  • Operation Florian

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