STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Firefighters risk their lives nearly every day - but they also risk their health from exposure to smoke, fumes, and more.
Firefighters in Statesboro have turned T-shirts into a way to raise cancer awareness and help those suffering from it.
With firefighters more likely to get certain kinds of cancer, it makes this fundraiser for different cancer groups even more personal.
Fallon Brown and others are getting their 2019 Cancer Awareness duty shirts ready. The department gives the proceeds to local groups that support patients of breast cancer and other forms.
“It’s really special that we’re selling these T-shirts because I’ve had personal experience. My grandmother passed away from breast cancer,” said Brown, an inspector with the Statesboro Fire Department.
Research has shown firefighters risk higher exposure for lung, prostate and other forms from exposure to smoke and carcinogens.
Statesboro’s chief says they work on limiting exposure before during and after fires.
“We try to be proactive because unfortunately, it is a reality for us,” Chief Tim Grams said.
The department knows tragedy firsthand. They lost one of their own, Ronnie Shaw, to Leukemia in 2017. Over the years, they’ve broadened their donations to cover more types of cancer.
“We certainly feel a connection there and want to help support those efforts,” Chief Grams said.
For Brown, the effort is about helping others - maybe even a fellow fire fighter.
“We really want to be in the fight, and we believe in and support the cause for what the T-shirts are about,” he said.
Organizers say you can reserve shirts online, then pick them up at the station.