Heavy duty washer plays role in cancer prevention

Maple Lake Fire Department Chief Steve Peterson stands by the department’s newest piece of equipment called an extractor. Similar to a heavy duty washing machine, the extractor will help protect firefighters from soot and smoke residue that have been known to cause cancer. (Photo by Brenda Erdahl)

The life of a firefighter was simpler back when the greatest threat to life and limb came from the fire they were fighting. Today there is an invisible threat, and it’s called cancer.
Roughly 60 percent of firefighters (career, paid on call and volunteer) will get cancer compared to 20 percent of the general population, according to the International Association of Firefighters.

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