Minnesota Firefighters Who Gave Ultimate Sacrifice Remembered on Fallen Firefighters Memorial Day

Crews say it’s also important to raise awareness of the biggest cause of job-related deaths among firefighters -- cancer and other health issues.

DULUTH, Minn.- Across the state of Minnesota Sunday, firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty or due to job-related causes were honored for their service on Minnesota Fallen Firefighters Memorial Day.

In Duluth, 19 firefighters from as far back as the 1800s to 2010 were remembered for paying the ultimate sacrifice.

“It’s not always what you see on TV, the movies you know you have somebody going through a floor or you’ll see a building collapse,” said Captain Pete Johnson.

Crews working now say it’s also important to raise awareness of the biggest cause of job-related deaths among firefighters — cancer and other health issues due to smoke and carcinogens inhaled and stuck on skin and gear are the biggest causes of death.

“Part of it is being able to recognize it and have testing and encouraging our members to get physicals and get screenings and make sure that they’re keeping track of those things and those cancers.” Capt. Johnson said. “As far as if they do have cancer that they find developed, that they do get it treated early.”

In Minnesota, fallen firefighters were honored at the state capitol Sunday.

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