New Fire Trucks Equipped to Prevent Cancer

The Duluth Fire Department received two new fire trucks that have mechanisms that can help prevent the firefighters from carcinogens.

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth Fire Department unveiled two new trucks equipped with the latest in firefighting technology, but they also help protect firefighters from another deadly aspect of the job, cancer.

Every inch of these new trucks have been designed for form and function. They make fighting fires easier and help keep firefighters safer from coming into contact with carcinogens.

“Twenty five years ago when i started this job, it was a badge of honor to have dirty turnout gear. Well now, that’s not a badge of honor anymore. It’s just killing us. Because if you do that, you expose yourself to¬† the same fire over and over and over,” said Duluth Fire Chief Dennis Edwards.

The Duluth Fire Department received two new rigs. They’re not only a needed upgrade, but bring the department back to full strength.

“We got behind a little bit on that schedule and now we are making an effort to catch up and possibly get ahead,” said Edwards.

The trucks come with compartments for used gear that can help the firefighters from breathing in the cancer causing chemicals. “This is our office. This is our desk. This is what we work on everyday,” said fire equipment operator Carmine Langlois.

Firefighters are at-risk of getting cancer nearly two to three times that of the general public which makes a custom design needed.

“It’s very humbling to know they trust me enough to do this,” said Langlois who designed the trucks.

The department designs ways to not only keep the public safe, but also themselves.

“It’s a culture change, but it’s due diligence to save each other’s lives,” said Edwards.

The fire trucks cost $550,000 a piece and will serve Duluth the next fifteen to twenty years.

Chief Edwards said that he would eventually like to have the entire fleet equipped with the cancer prevention mechanisms

The department will get a new heavy duty rescue vehicle in May.


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