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GA fire department taking action to address firefighter suicides and cancer-related deaths

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    CITY OF SOUTH FULTON, GA (WGCL) — The city of South Fulton said they are taking preempting actions to help firefighters deal with suicides and educate firefighters on cancer prevention.

According to a press release, the city council voted to team up with SiteMed, a Marietta-based healthcare company, to provide yearly medical exams and one-on-one counseling to fire rescue employees.

Council members decided to take action after a startling number of cancer-related deaths and suicides by firefighters nationwide.

The International Association of Firefighters reported there were 20 firefighter cancer deaths reported throughout the U.S. in 2018.

In 2018, the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance reported 82 firefighters and 21 EMTs and paramedics died by suicide.

“The addition of the annual physicals is essential in protecting and saving the lives of our firefighters, said Freddie D. Broome, chief of the South Fulton Fire Rescue Department.

Medical evaluations can provide early detection of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other conditions.

Early detection and treatment can prevent line-of-duty deaths, injuries and disabilities by making sure our personnel are healthy and physically fit to perform their duties,” Broome said.

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