Tennessee law aims to protect firefighters’ health – Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 2021-10-25 22:31:59 –

Lavanu, Tennessee (WTVF) — Firefighters on sandbars are working hard every day to save others. In addition, their work is at higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer than the general public.

Firefighters at La Vergne hope that the Barry Brady Act, which became state law in Tennessee in 2019, will help prioritize the health of firefighters.

David McAlester has been proudly serving the city of Lavagne as a firefighter for over seven years. But last year, after being diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 36, his career and life were put on hold.

“There was a lot in my heart,” recalled McAlester. “I just had my first child and it was pretty scary.”

McAlester said he had screened for cancer for the Barry Brady method. It is named after Captain Barry Brady, a retired fire brigade captain from the Sparta Fire Department who lost the fight against colon cancer.

The law addresses outdated and dangerous labor practices that can expose firefighters to cancer. Under the law, firefighters with at least five years of experience will be compensated if they are diagnosed or die of certain cancers that occur at work. They also need to check for those illnesses and keep up with the annual physical examination. Currently, the types of cancer included are colon, skin, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

For McAlester, screening provided early diagnosis and prompt treatment, potentially saving his life.

“I feel good. I feel as good as I’ve felt for a really long time,” McAlester said.

LaVergne Fire Chief Ronny Beasley said the Barry Brady Act not only provides free annual screening for the types of cancer covered by the law, but also to educate firefighters about the health risks they face at work. I said it works.

“Today you have multiple chemicals that make up just a simple sofa,” Beasley said. “So everything burning in the smoke, floating in the air, and breathing them all comes into contact with the skin.”

According to Beasley, each Lavanu fire engine is equipped with equipment to help firefighters decontaminate gear before leaving the scene to prevent exposure to potentially carcinogenic toxins. Useful for.

“There are recommendations on how to wash high-turnout clothes, uniforms, faces, and soft tissue areas before leaving the fire department so that you don’t take them back to the fire department,” he said.

McAlester is grateful that the cancer has disappeared one year after the diagnosis. He plans to continue colonoscopy every year to stay healthy.

“There’s a lot to thank,” McAlester said.

Tennessee is one of the 43 states that have legislation to address the health of firefighters. The Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association is working under the law to include more types of cancer.

Tennessee law aims to protect firefighters’ health Source link Tennessee law aims to protect firefighters’ health

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