Florida Firefighter Cancer Registry | Principal Investigator: Dr. David Lee
The Florida Firefighter Cancer Registry project, established in 2015, linked Fire Marshal certification records to Florida Cancer Data System records to identify cancers disproportionality impacting Florida firefighters. This has provided an updated analysis of a linkage done in 2006 that demonstrated elevated risks of several cancers, including bladder, testicular, and thyroid among males, and cervical, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and thyroid among females.
Advancing Epidemiology of Retired Firefighters Aging Longitudinally (AERIAL) Cohort Study | Principal Investigator: Dr. Natasha Schaefer Solle
Using data collected through a survey retired firefighters will complete annually, investigators are working to understand cancer risks specific to Florida firefighters and create a database of the risks and behaviors of all Florida firefighters. Originally launched in the Annual Cancer Survey (ACS) initiative’s second year (2016-2017), AERIAL now focuses on retired firefighters and seeks to understand what cancers are diagnosed during retirement among previously active combat firefighters and what occupational exposures during active employment and/or hygiene factors led to cancers.
Dashboard, Analytics, and Data Coordinating Center | Principal Investigator: Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez
Interactive web-based interface for disseminating firefighters’ cancer mortality and incidence rates to various stakeholders.
F2IRE Cohort | Principal Investigator: Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez
The purpose of this study is to annually collect health information and cancer risk factors (ex: family history, social and behavioral factors, etc.) of Fire Rescue workers once a year. Firefighters will complete a survey that will ask questions related to the type of exposures they have encountered and their cancer screening practices.
Facilitators and Barriers to Cancer Screening among Black firefighters | Principal Investigator: Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez
The goals of this pilot study are to 1) identify and prioritize facilitators and barriers to cancer screening among Black firefighters in Florida, and 2) discuss preferred interventions that can improve cancer screening practices for high-risk cancers among Black firefighters in Florida. Therefore, reducing the burden of cancer among the firefighter workforce long term.
Firefighter Assessment of Strategies Trumping Cancer (FAST-C) | Principal Investigator: Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez
The purpose of this study is to identify factors contributing to cancer prevention in the Florida fire service. We will invite firefighters to answer questions about their fire services approach to occupational health and safety, worksite health promotion, and cancer prevention practices. Our goal is to understand how the fire departments’ organization, practices, and policies impact cancer prevention. This information may help us develop programs to change the types of resources, guidelines, and services offered in fire services.
Environmental Sampling Program | Principal Investigator: Dr. Sylvia Daunert
The environmental sampling team is working on monitoring carcinogens and hazardous compounds off-gassing in turnout gear, improving the wristband analysis method developed in year two (2016-2017), and developing wearable technology for monitoring carcinogens and hazardous compounds.
Firefighter Wristband Exposure Survey | Principal Investigator: Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez
The pilot study goal is to passively detect exposure to known carcinogens (i.e., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds) among firefighters and non-firefighters as a comparison group using a silicone wristband during their work shift.
Analysis of Ambient/Environmental Monitoring data Immediately Outside the Fire Incident Response Arena | Principal Investigator: Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez
This research study will analyze environmental data (secondary data analysis) collected by South Florida Fire Department from the ambient air immediately outside a fire incident response.
Personal Exposure Reporter (PER) | Principal Investigator: Dr. Barbara Millet
The Personal Exposure Reporter's development team created an application to allow firefighters to keep a digital record of on-the-job exposures. This data can be used by researchers to find evidence of cancer related to firefighting. This information will help supplement firefighter’s personal health records. Meanwhile, the PER User Experience investigators are working closely with the application’s development team to ensure the tool’s design, functionality, features, content, and overall usability will help meet the project’s objective.
Cancer Prevention and Wellness Clinic | Principal Investigator: Dr. Erin Kobetz
Facilitate firefighter access to cancer education, research, and screenings (such as breast, skin, esophageal, prostate, testicular, and thyroid cancer screenings).
Occupational Chemical Exposures and the Vaginal Microbiome of Female Firefighters | Principal Investigator: Dr. Natasha Schaefer Solle
The purpose of the proposed study is to examine the association between exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and change in the vaginal microbiome of female firefighters in Florida.
Microbiome, GERD and esophageal cancer in Firefighters | Principal Investigator: Dr. Morgan Sendzischew
This study aims to analyze and characterize the oral microbiome of South Florida Firefighters. Additionally, we aim to develop a bio-repository of gastrointestinal tissue specimens for South Florida Firefighters with known risk factors for esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Direct Respiratory Assessment of Firefighter Tactics (DRAFT) Cohort Study | Principal Investigator: Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez
The purpose of this study is to assess the lung health and cancer risk factors in firefighters who are also Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The main objective is to examine lung function changes in firefighters/EMTs/First Responders in relation to SARS-CoV-2 infection and radon exposure over five years.
Firefighter Tumor Bank | Principal Investigator: Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez
Improving care for fighters with cancer requires research into the molecular mechanisms of cancer cells. Fresh tumor specimens are required to investigate these mechanisms. This project will establish a tumor bank to make these specimens available to cancer researchers here at Sylvester.
Firefighter Cancer Prevention Educational Curriculum | Principal Investigator: Dr. Natasha Schaefer Solle
The Educational Curriculum project team is collaborating with the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education and Florida fire departments to develop a curriculum for cancer prevention in the fire service. The knowledge gained during the Health Communication project has helped inform the development of this curriculum.
Firefighter Cancer Survivorship Program | Principal Investigator: Dr. Natasha Schaefer Solle and Dr. Frank Penedo
Investigators are developing cancer survivorship education modules, including videos, for cancer survivors.
Heavy Metal Exposure Assessment using Toenails (HEAT) from Firefighters | Principal Investigator: Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez
During their work, firefighters are exposed to a multitude of known or suspected carcinogens. One exposure of particular concern is the exposure to heavy metals. The HEAT project evaluates the use of toenails as a biomarker of long-term exposure to heavy metals in firefighters and characterizes the presence and quantity of heavy metals found in firefighters.
Firefighter UV Safety Evaluation Study | Principal Investigator: Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez
The occupational health and safety team is quantifying Ultraviolet (UV) exposure in firefighters through a wearable UV sensor to help characterize their environmental and occupational exposures.
Firefighter Stress and Immune Response | Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez and Dr. Firdaus Dhabhar
Firefighting is frequently reported as a highly stressful occupation. The job includes a wide range of physiological indicators (e.g., blood pressure, cortisol, skin conductance) of stress; however, relationships between stress exposure and immune response in firefighters remain understudied. In the present study, we use the firefighter training environment to evaluate stress exposure and the stress anticipation on firefighter immune system response.
Defining and Operationalizing the Well-Being of Firefighters/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Workers | Principal Investigator: Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez
The purpose of this cross-sectional descriptive, exploratory study is to define and operationalize the well-being of firefighters from the perspective of Firefighters/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Workers. A conceptual model will be designed and proposed from factors identified by the firefighter/EMS workers and used as a tool to frame the construct, “firefighter/EMS worker well-being.”
Annual Cancer Survey | Principal Investigator: Dr. Natasha Schaefer Solle
Using data collected through a survey that firefighters will complete annually, investigators are working to understand cancer risks specific to Florida firefighters and create a database of the risks and behaviors of all Florida firefighters.
Health Communication | Principal Investigator: Dr. Tyler Harrison
The Health Communication project investigators worked to understand firefighter culture, work, and knowledge about cancer. They also designed education and behavior change campaign materials.
PBDE & Thyroid Function | Principal Investigator: Dr. Natasha Schaefer Solle
Investigators examined the association between PBDE levels and thyroid function of active South Florida firefighters. The project worked to describe and characterize the quality and quantity of PBDE present in the blood of firefighters by type of occupational exposure (i.e., years in the fire service, job title, firefighter duties).
Guardrails | Principal Investigator: Wes Smith
In year three of the Firefighter Cancer Initiative (2017-2018), the cancer screening project incorporated the Guardrails project, which was initially included as part of the initiative in 2016. The Guardrails Wellness Program used customized nutrition and exercise recommendations to optimize health and combat cancer risk in firefighters.
Addressing Colorectal Cancer in South Florida Firefighters | Principal Investigator: Dr. Erin Kobetz
The purpose of this pilot study is to examine the feasibility and acceptability of the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) to screen for colorectal cancer in a sample of active firefighters in South Florida.
Recruited Firefighters’ Assessment of Safety and Health (ReFLASH) Pilot Study | Principal Investigator: Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez
The purpose of this study is to learn about the safety and health perceptions of newly recruited firefighters, especially how they plan to protect their health and reduce workplace hazards.
Comprehensive De-Identified FCI Dataset for Secondary Analysis | Principal Investigator: Dr. Julia Seay
This secondary, retroactive data analysis will apply innovative random forest techniques to uncover complex associations between sociodemographic, behavioral, biological factors, and cancer among firefighters using data from previously IRB-approved Firefighter Cancer Initiative studies.
Understanding Retired Firefighters' Perceptions of Cancer and Wellness | Principal Investigator: Dr. Natasha Schaefer Solle
The purpose of this pilot study is to collect qualitative data using focus groups to learn about the perceptions of health and cancer risk of retired firefighters from fire departments in Palm Beach County. This study will provide an opportunity to better understand how firefighter retirees’ prior workplace hazards may have impacted their current health and cancer screening practices.
Occupational and non-occupational Physical Activity Levels among Firefighters | Principal Investigator: Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez
The goals of this pilot study were to (a) describe typical physical activity levels in professional paid firefighters and (b) assess their ability to estimate their own levels of physical activity.
“Warm Zone” Cases: Environmental Monitoring Immediately Outside the Fire Incident Response Arena | Principal Investigator: Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez
Hazardous work zones (i.e., hot, warm, and cold) are typically established during HAZMAT calls but less consistently for fire responses to segment personnel and response activities in the immediate geographic area around the fire. Despite available national guidelines, some studies have documented inconsistent use of respiratory protective equipment by firefighters at the fire scene. These published cases suggest firefighters should implement strategies for multi-gas detector use within the warm zone and include respiratory protection in the warm zone to provide adequate safety from noxious gasses and cancer-causing particulate.
Firefighter Diversity and Inclusion Analysis | Principal Investigator: Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez
Diversity and inclusion in the workforce can lead to increased team synergy, efficiency, and innovative solutions to complex problems across varying organizations. In the U.S. fire service, the workforce demographics are largely homogenous, comprised predominantly of Caucasian males with limited diversity in racial and ethnic backgrounds and genders/non-genders. A strong fire department culture that invests in diversity and inclusion could provide competitive advantages that improve engagement in the communities they serve. The purpose of this analysis is to 1) describe the availability of diversity and inclusion leaders in fire services throughout the U.S., 2) describe characteristics of diversity and inclusion programs in the Fire Service, and 3) characterize and compare the impact of diversity and inclusion leaders within fire services.