First Responder Training

Life-Saving Early Cancer Detection Training for First Responders

Cancer is the #1 cause of line-of-duty deaths for firefighters. Cancer caused 61% of career firefighter line-of-duty deaths between 2002 and 2016. Not only do firefighters have higher cancer rates, but they are diagnosed at significantly younger ages. For several types of cancer, firefighters have substantially higher mortality rates. One theory about why firefighters have higher cancer mortality rates is that they seek medical attention at later stages, due to a lack of recognition of symptoms and early warning signs.

Firefighters have a 9% higher risk of developing cancer than the general population and a 14% greater risk of dying from cancer.

“Early detection is an area where the fire service lags in education. Knowing when to seek medical attention and how to work with our doctors is something we need to learn. DetecTogether has helped the FDNY bridge this gap.”
Frank A. Leeb, Deputy Chief, FDNY

3 Steps Detect Training

3 Steps Detect is vital information needed to help reduce cancer mortality in the fire service. Training sessions last 30 minutes.

We deliver our training in a variety of formats to allow all members access.

Format Options

  • Live and Zoom (virtual, online)
  • Presentation at union or department meetings or during training time
  • Multiple presentations across multiple days to reach all shifts
  • Train-the-Trainer for key staff members (longer than 30 minutes)

We will work with your department to ensure everyone receives 3 Steps Detect training. Cancers can be detected early, but only if people know what they are looking for, when to contact a doctor, and how to talk with their provider about what they are feeling. Early detection is the key to preventing cancer deaths and less likely to require long, costly treatments.


Training During COVID-19

We know that social distancing guidelines make group training tricky, so we will work with you to schedule small group sessions, even if it takes multiple presentations to reach your entire department over several days. DetecTogether is following all safety guidelines for in-person training. Our staff members are equipped with facemasks and will remain at a social distance during the presentation. If possible, we ask that this presentation take place in a large space or a well ventilated area to align with the social distancing guidelines.


The Consequences of Waiting Too Long

Firefighter Eddie McDonagh had symptoms for almost a year before he went to the doctor. It cost him his life.

In Partnership with the Last Call Foundation

Last Call Foundation logo

Kathy Crosby-Bell, of the Last Call Foundation, says: “Cancer is a direct threat to firefighter lives. The Last Call Foundation, dedicated to improving the safety and health of those in the fire service, is completely aligned with DetecTogether’s mission to teach people how to detect cancer early. Firefighters are brave, selfless, dedicated professionals who put the well-being of others ahead of their own. Through its education, DetecTogether teaches firefighters to be mindful of their own health and well-being, learning to recognize early warning signs of cancer, when to seek medical attention, and how to advocate for themselves within the medical system.”

What First Responders Are Saying About Our Training

“A great program for our members that will help so many families.”

Chuck Downey, Deputy Chief, FDNY

“The training is worth its weight in gold.”

Robert Quinn, Chief, Watertown Fire Department

“One of the most important presentations that a firefighter will hear in their career.”

Mark Roche, President, Massachusetts Institute of Fire Department Instructors and Captain, Newton Fire Department

Contact Us

With questions, or for more information, please contact our educational trainer at info@detectogether.org or call 508-826-9442.