Boston Firefighters Fight Cancer in Emotional New Video

The message: Don’t take off your mask.

Boston firefighters who have died of cancer.
Boston firefighters who have died of cancer. –Joanne Rathe/The Boston Globe

Boston firefighters put their lives at risk — and not just in the obvious way: Firefighters are dying of cancer, says a new emotional video released by the Boston Fire Department.

The video’s message is clear: Wear your mask. The video will be shown on the department’s website and to the city’s 1,400 firefighters in all 33 firehouses, reports The Boston Globe.

“It’s killing our members, simple as that,’’ Comissioner Joseph E. Finn said in the video. “It’s the one thing that is going to kill firefighters more quickly than a building collapse, more quickly than getting trapped — it’s cancer.’’


Boston firefighters who have battled blazes for years want younger members of the force to know that taking off their protective gear while working can cost them their lives.

“Chronic exposure to heat, smoke, and toxins is what’s causing cancer in firefighters,’’ said Dr. Michael Hamrock, a former Boston firefighter.

Family members of the deceased firefighters participated in the video as well.

“Think of your own children and your families,’’ said Kathy Griffin, a family member, through tears. “They want you around. Wear your mask.’’

Every year, 20 Boston firefighters are diagnosed with cancer and more than 160 have died since 1990.

The department spent $30,000 of a training grant to create the video, which was produced by Embryo Creative of Boston.

Read the full report in the Globe.

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