Training class in Munster highlights cancer rates in firefighters, ways to reduce occupation risks

Stock fire photo
File, Jonathan Miano | The Times

MUNSTER — Firefighting is a naturally risky job. Men and women in the field have a greater chance than the general population of being diagnosed with an occupational-related cancer.

The risks come with the territory, but there are ways to reduce exposure and minimize harm, said Joe Martin, 32, a veteran Griffith firefighter and lead instructor for the Lake County Recruit Firefighter Academy.

Martin is one of two people leading a four-hour class on Tuesday night at the Munster Center For Visual & Performing Arts. The course, which runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., is designed to educate firefighters about the health risks they face on the job along with practical tips that can minimize exposure to cancer-causing contaminants.

“We’re still going to fight fires. That’s what we do and that’s what we signed up for. But how can we better protect ourselves?” Martin said.

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