Cancer in the Fire Service

Cancer in the fire service is our current reality, but we are beginning to better understand firefighters’ increased risks and cancer’s devastating toll.


Cancer can be caused by what we eat, drink, breathe or smoke as well as from our environments. This includes the many carcinogens found on the fireground and in our station working environment.


Some states have firefighter cancer presumption laws that give workers’ compensation or other disability benefits for firefighters who contract cancer while on the job. However, presumption laws do not guarantee that every firefighter with cancer is going to receive benefits. Firefighters still bear the burden of proof.