Were used to the idea of firefighters heading into danger at a fire scene but theres another danger, a lifelong danger they face and that is an increased risk of cancer.

Modern buildings are so chock full of synthetics that when they burn they release cancer causing chemicals that can land in firefighters lungs or settle onto their gear.

Breathing in this stuff is not the only way for it to harm us. It gets on our skin, just being exposed to it for long periods of time. Working a 30 year career, that all adds up. So we want to get that away from us as quickly as possible.

Green Valley firefighter Sean Rickard has been putting out fires and keeping us safe for fourteen years. He knows that makes him less safe from cancer.

The International Association of Firefighters cites studies that say firefighters’ chance of being diagnosed with cancer is nine percent higher than the general population and the chance of dying from cancer is 14 percent higher.

This is Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month with training to help firefighters reduce their risk, and help care for firefighters who have come down with cancer.

Green Valleys newest fire station is specially built to reduce exposure to things that cause cancer.

Its divided into hot, warm and cool zones based on risk.

Vehicles, even though theyre kept clean, are in a hot zone.

Protective turnout gear is hosed down while still at the fire, it may go out for special cleaning, then is stored in a warm zone, separated from the living, exercise and sleeping areas where firefighters wait for their next call.

Voters approved bonds to pay for the new station. The Green Valley Fire District is planning to add cancer protection zones to its other four fire stations too.

Reporter Craig Smith asked: With this in mind, have you got a fair chance of making it to retirement and staying healthy?

Sean Rickard: That’s the goal, thats the idea.