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Firefighter Exposure Tracking system approved by Elkhart Board of Public Safety

NOW: Firefighter Exposure Tracking system approved by Elkhart Board of Public Safety

ELKHART, Ind. – During a public safety meeting on Tuesday board members put forward a plan to simplify the process of determining when firefighters are exposed to smoke or dangerous chemicals.

The proposed plan would make it easier to track specific incidents instead of processing individual reports, which can be time consuming.

The alternative would be to fill out a tracking form at the time of an incident.

The new system would eliminate a multi-step process that is involved in reporting an injury. If anything bad happens while on the job, the tracking system would allow firefighters to access their records quickly.

The board approved the proposal on Tuesday, so firefighters will now have to record their incidents.

Steve Kamp, the Elkhart Fire Chief, said that the goal of the new system is to detect cancer early on.

“With cancer being the number one killer of firefighters nowadays,” Kamp said, “it has become prevalent to document and make sure our firefighters are doing that by putting in a policy and adding it to our everyday routine.”

Kamp went on to say that this could evolve into a statewide initiative.

“By starting our own and doing our own,” Kamp said, “this will give us that data that we need to for our future, for possibly the state of Indiana, as well as the fire department, and the firefighter and their families.”

The change is nothing unusual for the department, and now firefighters are already updating the system by including information from previous incidents.

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SteveWestlake 75 days ago
Very glad to see this attempt at going forward on the cancer problem! At 1 station we had 4 firefighters with some form of cancer! Also this station had been remediated twice for molds. I am not making any claims about this station being a cause of nor will I accept that this station was not a cause! The cancers differed! Brain, pancreatic, prostate and melanoma! We had the station tested for mold and the lady said we had mold growing inside the station that should not have been. You could use our thermal imaging camera and see a heat signature where mold as growing! Many times attempts were made to higherup officials for more testing and help. To no avail! I myself contacted the state EPA. I informed my contact of the mold remediation attempt. He asked if all soft surfaces had been treated. Like carpet, upholstery, mattresses etc. I said no. He said then you still have mold and by golly it was back! That station is still being used. I have no idea to it's condition. One more thing just being mentioned as a cancer cause is sleep depredation. Loss of sleep is loss of time that your body uses to repair itself. Even the best of nights at a firehouse, firefighters sleep on the edge. Never the deep sleep we need. Maybe it's time to work 40 hour weeks. Not 56 hour weeks! 3 8 hour shifts.....
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