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Richard Murray

Richard Murray Owen

Year of Award: 2018 Award State: Victoria Emergency Services > Fire And Rescue
To reduce occupational cancer exposures in firefighters through improved initial decontamination - USA, UK, Sweden
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For those who don't know me, I am a fourth-generation firefighter in Australia. I have been a firefighter either as a volunteer or career member of the Country Fire Authority since 1986. Like many other people in the fire service I have been touched several times by an insidious disease called cancer, which af-fects firefighters more than the general community.

My original submission was about reducing occupational exposures to fire-fighters through initial on scene decontamination. During my research and tour, I quickly realized that this was such a small component and that other complimentary measures would reduce of the risks, so the report now encom-passes more than initial on scene decontamination.

We need a drastic refocusing of our work processes, if we ever want to arrest the ever-increasing numbers of firefighters who are diagnosed with this dis-ease.

Gezonde brandweerlieden, Pompiers en bonne sante, Friska brandman

The previous words were in Dutch, French and Swedish, it all means the same thing, healthy firefighters, across the globe this is what we must achieve, healthy firefighters!

Implementation of this system of work benefits everyone, the community, our families and most importantly firefighters.

People may argue over the costs of implementation, but the question I ask straight back is, what is the impact of a cancer treatment alone, versus the quality of life and prevention of a cruel disease? If you cannot distinguish this fact, perhaps this report is not for you.

The report is not meant to be technical in nature, although I have referenced external studies which I have read and found, but the purpose was to investi-gate anything which we could use to reduce our exposures.

Each section was written so it could be used as a basis of a standalone project for implementation.


Keywords: HAZMAT, firefighters, decontamination, PPC, cancer, exposure, showering, contamination, SOP's

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