TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9) — Cancer is the leading cause of death for firefighters according to the CDC.
“We have had a few within the last few years that have come down with cancer,” said Tucson Fire Department Captain Travis Sutterley.
Sutterley has known too many people who have had to battle cancer over his nearly 20-year career.
He is now in remission, but unfortunately those things do happen,” he said. “It is a risk coming on the job. We all know that.”
The old Fire Station 9 on Wilmot was built in the 1960s when safety standards were lacking. But today, a rebuilt Fire Station 9 is one of the safest in the country.
"We have a hot zone, warm zone and cold zone which creates the separation we need,” said Sutterley.
The new station has a separate area to keep turnouts away from engine exhaust and away from living spaces. It also has an area to wash off gear, and a dispatch system that alerts the crew on shift and not the firefighters trying to sleep.
“So, if one of the medic trucks gets a call in the middle of the night and the ladder is not dispatched it does not wake them up. Sleep is at a premium here and we all know disrupted sleep cycles lead to health issues.
Sutterley says firefighters are willing to accept some risks, but the new station will help extend careers and lives. Good for the firefighters and the surrounding community.
“This is not going to eliminate it. This is going to minimize it, which is great. That is all we can do at this point. It's a game changer for all of us.”
Brian Brennan’s fascination with weather began as a kid in Arizona watching the intense thunderstorms during monsoon. He has covered major breaking news, court trials, Nellis Air Force Base, and has put himself at the center of many weather events.