State Agencies Launch Preliminary Exposure Reduction Project in Illinois

Springfield, Ill- The Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI), Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM), and Mutual Aid Box Alarm System Illinois (MABAS) today announced the creation of the Illinois Preliminary Exposure Reduction Project. The project was developed to deliver critical firefighter health and life safety research, education, training and basic equipment to fire departments across the state. The intent of the project is to raise awareness of the increased cancer risks faced by firefighters, provide departments with free basic equipment that can be used for preliminary exposure reduction for personnel on incident response scenes, as well as training on how to properly use those tools. Personal protective equipment (PPE) can become contaminated after use by a firefighter. Effective on-scene decontamination can reduce the level of surface polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) by 85% following an incident. According to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), firefighters face a 9 percent increase in cancer diagnoses and a 14 percent increase in cancer-related deaths compared to the general population. OSFM has provided a grant to the IFSI to help support the development, implementation and purchasing of the products needed for the decontamination buckets. The training provided by IFSI will help departments effectively use materials provided to decontaminate personnel on-scene. If departments are not able to get a bucket due to limited supplies, information is provided in the training videos and on the IFSI website to help them create their own. MABAS, who has several regional distribution sites across the state, will be instrumental in acquiring and distributing the materials for the buckets to those designated sites for departments to obtain them. All fire departments within the State of Illinois are eligible to receive free equipment after completion of the training. Supplies are limited, and departments are encouraged to sign-up and to complete the training soon. Training and additional resource information is available at fsi.illinois.edu.

 

 

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