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Firefighters pose for a image with a cancer researcher during a press conference

Through the support of a state of Florida appropriation, the Firefighter Cancer Initiative (FCI) was launched in 2015 to study firefighters’ exposure to carcinogens, their risks for developing cancer, and methods of education for prevention, screening, and early detection. Since then, researchers have been working closely with fire departments on various projects to learn more about these critical issues and to identify improved safety measures to reduce risk. The research team includes faculty and staff from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, School of Communication, and the School of Education and Human Development.

In its first year, over 1,600 active firefighters throughout South Florida’s tri-county area completed the FCI’s annual cancer survey. Firefighters were also engaged in cervical and colorectal cancer screening, environmental sampling projects, and an educational campaign to increase awareness about prevention and early detection. Now in its third year, the FCI has expanded its scope to include additional projects, such as a longitudinal study focusing on retired firefighters and the study of a wellness program for improving measures of fitness, health, and cancer risks. The project has also expanded to include fire stations throughout the state of Florida.

For more information on the Firefighter Cancer Initiative, please contact the project team at