HEALTHResponse Time Matters

Response Time Matters

Like a fire, firefighters can catch cancer early to prevent its spread and increase survivability. Response Time Matters continues the momentum of causing a cultural shift in the fire service to address cancer risk and encourage timely medical attention. 

DetecTogether, the FDNY and Jason Patton of Fire Department Chronicles team up to demonstrate, in an authentic and humorous way, why firefighters should not ignore subtle, persistent health changes lasting more than two weeks. The team empowers firefighters to take action by going to their doctor and not sugarcoating how they feel. Tell it like it is! First responders can use 3 Steps Detect to save their own lives by recognizing the common early signs of cancer.

“Our jobs are incredibly serious,” says Patton. “Lives are on the line. So between jobs, while we’re at the firehouse, we like to lighten things up, and that’s exactly what DetecTogether’s videos do, using comedy to get firefighters taking action against cancer.” 

Occupational cancer is the #1 cause of line-of-duty deaths in the fire service. 

Firefighters are 9% more likely to be diagnosed and 14% more likely to die from cancer than the general population. By raising awareness of what warning signs of cancer can feel or look like and motivating firefighters to use DetecTogether’s simple roadmap to early detection, 3 Steps Detect, we can help change outcomes. 

The National Institutes of Health (2022) finds that 50% of cancer is diagnosed in late-stage, and only 14% of cancer is identified through recommended screenings, which are vital, but by empowering firefighters to recognize the early warning signs of cancer, early diagnosis can save and improve the quality of many more lives.

The worst cancer diagnosis is a late one. DetecTogether’s mission is to bring the lifesaving advantage of early cancer detection to all. Patients play a vital role in diagnosis, which begins with their awareness and action. Katie Brier, RN, stated, In today’s busy and hectic healthcare environment, patients need to know that their voices are just as important as lab work, imaging, and other diagnostic tests when it comes to early cancer detection.”

With Increased Cancer Risk in the Fire Service, Response Time Matters.

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Response Time Matters program support is provided by 1A Auto, The Last Call Foundation, Powertech Controls, FDNY and EMW-2021-FP-00573. This is in collaboration with the Firefighter Cancer Support Network and The Center for Fire, Rescue and EMS Research.

DetecTogether is a 501(c)(3) education and advocacy organization that saves lives by teaching people how to detect cancer early and be active partners in their healthcare. 

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