Firefighters constantly put themselves at risk to protect their communities. A new app is here to help them cut back on that risk.
The new National Fire Operations Reporting System (NFORS) Exposure Tracker will allow any emergency service personnel – firefighters, paramedics, or police officers – to track and log exposure to deadly carcinogens or chemicals while on the job. The personal diary will be encrypted and secure to maintain medical privacy.
The logs will help emergency services personnel keep track of their exposure to certain dangerous toxins so that they can make informed medical decisions and take the steps to get healthy and protect against occupational hazards such as cancer.
“This valuable tool will help provide fire fighters with the documentation they need to show on-the-job exposure to a toxic soup of carcinogens and ensure they have the resources to get healthy and return to work,” said Harold A. Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters in an interview with FirefighterNation.com.
The International Association of Fire Fighters worked with the the International Associations of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, International Public Safety Data Institute (IPSDI) and other fire service experts to create the NFORS Fire Fighter Exposure Tracker. The research and development of the app was funded by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters grant program and the Ramsey Social Justice Foundation.
“The information gathered in the NFORS Exposure Tracker will provide essential data to help researchers better understand toxic exposures on the fire scene and develop new treatments and prevention protocols for occupational diseases, including cancer – now the leading cause of death among fire fighters,” says Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, president and CEO of IPSDI in an interview with FireFighterNation.com.
The app will continually log emergency services personnel work-related illness and exposure, and the data will help firefighters who develop cancer or PTSD to provide proof of their conditions in order to receive workers’ compensation. The data collected in the app will even be available to emergency services personnel who have retired.
Any firefighter who wishes to be cataloged in the National Firefighter Cancer Registry will have the option to share their medical data with researchers.
The Registry was signed into law by President Trump in 2018 and created a database for researchers to rely on to determine how firefighters develop cancer.
The NFORS Exposure Tracker App is free to download from app stores, and paramedics, police officers, and firefighters are encouraged to educate themselves and their departments about the risk of exposure to toxins and carcinogens. All of the data will be private, as fire departments will not have access to private employee logs.