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CFO Jimmy Patronis, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Deliver more than 4,000 Cancer Exposure Decontamination Kits to Florida Firefighters

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine announced that 405 Florida fire departments will collectively receive 4,216 kits to help decontaminate firefighters’ gear after a fire. The Post Fire On-Scene Decontamination Kits will help mitigate firefighters’ exposure to cancer-causing products of combustion. The first 492 decontamination kits have been distributed to 48 fire departments, with the remainder of the kits to be delivered in the coming weeks. 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “In 2016 alone cancer caused 70 percent of career firefighter line of duty deaths across the nation, and firefighters have a nearly 15 percent higher risk of dying from cancer. Cancer prevalence in firefighters is not up for debate, and we must make sure these heroes have the tools needed to stay healthy and safe.”
Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., Associate Director for Population Science and Cancer Disparity, Principal Investigator for the Firefighter Cancer Initiative, stated, “Sylvester is proud to be a part of this initiative, which is directly informed by our ongoing research to understand and address the excess burden of cancer among firefighters. The decon kits are an important step in reducing on the job exposures to carcinogens, and we are grateful for our partners, including the State of Florida and the Florida Health and Safety Collaborative, who helped us translate our scientific findings to a practical solution that will make a difference in the fight against firefighter cancer.”
Each kit includes the tools needed for firefighters to effectively clean gear after a fire. The kits include:

• Flash drive, including educational videos and training outline
• Laminated Field Operation Guide
• Standard Operating Guideline
• 5- Gal bucket and leak-proof lid
• 5- Gal 6 mil clear bags
• Duct tape
• Dish soap
• Short handle scrub brush
• All-purpose spray bottle
• Dermal Wipes
• 2- 50-Ft 5/8” hose lines
• 2- Garden hose nozzles
• 2- Adapters, 2.5" female X .75" male GHT
• Collapsible traffic cone
The decontamination kits were awarded through a $1 million grant to the firefighter cancer mitigation grant program and will be available for each fire apparatus with pumping capability at the departments which applied for the program. Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center has developed a website,, which contains related educational materials, along with other resources designed to help educate firefighters about cancer risks and processes that might help reduce those risks.
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