RFD seeking input on upgrading facility

·2 min read

Nov. 20—RUSHVILLE — The City of Rushville and the Rushville Fire Department have been working jointly since early September on a grant solicitation through OCRA (Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs) that would provide funding strictly limited in scope to upgrading the current Rushville Fire Department by building an addition on the east side of the present facility.

This addition would house new living quarters for the current staff and provide greater separation from possible contaminants carried into the truck bay area from emergency scenes.

Public input specifically related to the scope of this request is needed to complete the grant writing process. If this funding was secured, the RFD is interested in knowing if residents would support this project to add-on to the Rushville Fire Department.

If you are willing to provide additional feedback, a brief 10-question survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Rushvillefiredepartment.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has information on some of the contaminants that the fire department employees may encounter.

According to a flyer from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, all firefighters, whether they are career or volunteer, put their own lives at risk to save others. Multiple studies have found that firefighters are at an increased risk for several types of cancer due to the smoke and hazardous chemicals they are exposed to in the line of duty.

Why is there an increased risk for cancer?

* Homes and buildings contain synthetic and plastic materials that create more smoke when burning than natural materials. They release polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), many of which can cause cancer. Cancer-causing agents are called "carcinogens."

* Firefighters may also encounter other known carcinogens (such as asbestos and diesel exhaust) when on the job.

* Carcinogens are both inhaled and absorbed through the skin. Even when wearing the proper gear, the carcinogens can still penetrate the gear and expose the skin.

Some steps firefighters can take to reduce the risk:

* Wash yourself as soon as possible after every fire.

* Clean, care for and store gear properly.

* Always wear appropriate gear and breathing protection whenever exposure is possible such as during overhaul and investigations.

* Inform your doctor about being in the fire service—even if you are a volunteer or retired. Ask about a schedule for cancer screenings.

* Reduce exposure to diesel exhaust from the firetruck.

* Follow a healthy lifestyle.

* Track your exposure.

Visit www.LLS.org/FireFighters for more information and a full list of ways firefighters can protect themselves.

Contact Aaron Kirchoff at aaron.kirchoff@greensburgdailynews.com

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