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Tampa firefighters receiving new tool to help prevent cancer

The Firemen's Benevolent Association of the City of Tampa is donating 200 new hoods
Posted at 6:33 PM, Jul 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-11 19:37:01-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa firefighters will soon be receiving another tool to help reduce the risk of cancer on the job.

The Firemen's Benevolent Association of the City of Tampa, Inc. said it has spent around $16,000 to purchase 200 hoods.

"It's a small part but I think it's gonna make a huge difference," said Tampa Fire Rescue Captain William Glass.

Glass said he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011.

"My family was called in to say their goodbyes," he said.

But Glass survived and says he's now in remission, and back on the job alongside his fellow firefighters.

"I try to be an advocate for them and I want to get my guys out of their gear as quick as possible," he said.

The hoods will provide another piece of gear to use. They fit over the head, providing an opening for breathing apparatus.

"Cancer's on the rise in the world as we know it," said James Gilligan, the association's treasurer. "It's more prevalent in the fire service because of our exposure."

The goal of the particulate reduction hoods is to help lessen exposure. A layer in the fiber of the material helps keep soot on the hood and not on firefighters.

The new hoods will supplement the ones Tampa Fire Rescue already provided to all crews to ensure there's a clean hood ready right away.

"Where are the areas we're providing protection, is our heads, our scalps, our thyroid," Gilligan said.

"It's not just about us, it's about us going home to our families," Glass said.

The association also donated pop up tents last month to help provide more shade and a place for firefighters to rehab while on a fire scene.