Early cancer detection education for firefighters available at no cost
DetecTogether is thrilled to announce the launch of Online Learning for Firefighters. Developed with the help of our Fire Service Advisory Board, whose expertise and experience span firefighter health and wellness, research, training, and cancer, the program can be accessed by firefighters, at no cost, on computers and mobile devices.
The Online Learning for Firefighters qualifies for one hour of OEMS continuing education credit in Massachusetts.
“DetecTogether’s online training is one of the best and most in-depth learning on cancer available,” says Frank A. Leeb, FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief and Chief of the Fire Academy.
Occupational cancer is a critical issue facing the nation’s firefighters. Two in three firefighter deaths in the U.S. each year are caused by cancer. This staggering statistic is rooted in several factors: firefighters are exposed to cancer-causing carcinogens on the job, they often get cancers at an earlier age than civilians before they are eligible for screenings, and their cancer is too frequently detected late, when it is harder to treat and less survivable.
“We believe that a movement toward patient-centered, early cancer detection will reduce the current statistics,” says Tricia Laursen, DetecTogether’s President & Executive Director. “Firefighters must be educated about the signs and symptoms of cancer, motivated to pay attention to their own health changes, and empowered to seek timely care, ask questions and make decisions with their physicians. We teach them how with our 3 Steps Detect program.”
DetecTogether has delivered 3 Steps Detect in-person to firefighters in 175 cities and towns as well as at regional and national conferences on firefighters and cancer. While this “boots on the ground” approach has been widely praised, the online learning option extends the organization’s ability to scale the training and reach many more who need it.
Sara Jahnke Ph.D., Director and Senior Scientist at the National Development & Research Institutes, believes that, “The DetecTogether educational program provides the missing link to help educate firefighters on how to take control of their own health and take proactive steps to get diagnosed and treated early—the BEST way to increase survival.”
In addition to 3 Steps Detect, Online Learning for Firefighters also includes 10 short lessons covering topics such as compiling your medical history, identifying and tracking symptoms, and how to prepare for doctor appointments. Firefighters can access the platform by clicking the link below. Promotional materials and instructions to access the courses are available for posting in firehouses.