February 1, 2024

NIOSH to Host Webinar on Protecting Wildland Firefighter Health and Safety

On Feb. 14, NIOSH will host a webinar focusing on efforts to protect wildland firefighters from the unique hazards they encounter in their work. According to the NIOSH website, participants will leave the webinar being able to identify pressing occupational health and safety issues, describe the importance of interprofessional collaboration, and discuss different ways to address the safety and health issues presented.

Speakers set to present during the webinar include Kathleen DuBose, PhD, MPH, of the Department of the Interior, Office of Wildland Fire, who will discuss common hazards faced by wildland firefighters, research on exposures and health effects, and ongoing federal efforts to protect firefighters. Kenneth Fent, PhD, CIH, will cover NIOSH’s National Firefighter Registry for Cancer (NFR), a voluntary registry program created to improve understanding of cancer incidence among firefighters. Fent is the current head of the NFR. Jay L. Tarley, CFEI, the team lead for the Post-Market Personal Protective Equipment Testing Team with the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, will speak on NPPTL’s projects to protect wildland firefighters. Finally, Rick Swan, the former deputy chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, will discuss the NFR’s significance for wildland and other firefighters.

The webinar will be the first in the Expanding Research Partnerships (EPR) series to be held in 2024. According to NIOSH, the EPR series is organized by the agency’s Office of Research Integration to promote research and expand partnerships in occupational safety and health.

For more information or to register for the webinar on protecting wildland firefighter safety and health, visit NIOSH’s website.

Related: Kenneth Fent, Miriam Siegel, Alex Mayer, and Andrea Wilkinson discussed the NFR in “Introducing the National Firefighter Registry for Cancer: A New Effort to Understand and Reduce Cancer in Firefighters” in the June/July 2023 issue of The Synergist, and John C. Ratliff shared his perspective as a former wildland firefighter in “Reflections on Wildland Firefighting: Protective Clothing, Equipment, Hazards, and Procedures” in the January 2023 Synergist.