This is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Every day firefighters risk their own lives to protect the lives of others. Firefighters like Fire Captain Mike Palumbo. For more than two decades of service, his wife, Christie and their five children, could not worry about the more obvious dangers of work. "He was very passionate to return to the community that gives him the opportunity to have this career."
But a few years ago, away from smoke or fire, something else caught up with Pallum while walking around the family home. in Beachwood, Ohio
"As soon as we got there, I knew something was wrong," Crisis told Correspondent Tony Docopil. "And I tried to convince him only to get back into the car. It was like, "No, I'm fine, I'm fine." And we got down the gorge and he literally got into a tree. And I just panicked. "
She rushed to Mike at the hospital where they learned that there was brain cancer at Stage 4. Do you do when you get such news?"
"I literally creep in bed with him and pray in the ear "Crisis replied, weeping. "They brought my children to me because I did not know if they would ever see it again. "
Now, as if experiencing the flames and then fighting cancer was not enough, some firefighters face another, even more stunning challenge than the cities they defend.
Patrick Mahoney, 37, is a firefighter at Beitown, Texas, a city full of refineries and chemical plants, where admission of hell for a whole day is work.
In 2017, after 15 years of service in Beitown, Mahoney discovered a throat bulge – thyroid cancer. "And we already had, at this point, one or two boys in my department who had cancer," Mahoney said. "And these are all non-smokers who have not used chewing tobacco – they were healthy people, so when I was diagnosed, I definitely felt it was work-related."
It is impossible to be sure what causes a particular cancer case, but Texas is one of the 38 countries with so-called "supposed laws" – meaning that if an active or recently retired firefighter is diagnosed with certain types of cancer , he / she is supposed to have received it at the workplace and is entitled to compensation for workers' compensation (such as lost salary and medical insurance).
But for many firefighters these benefits are still inaccessible.
"The winner of the workers from my town did not initially say," We do not cover cancer, "Mahoney said.
He appealed his case and won twice, but then Beitown judged to "To be judged as such after denying that it is a betrayal," Mahoney said, "It sometimes makes me want to work in a café because I feel they do not care." "Beitown seeks court explains the city in a statement, adding that the payment of any claim could cost the city "between $ 600,000 and $ 2 million in team case. "
And Mahonnie's case is not uncommon: In 2012, more than nine out of ten firefighters in Texas have rejected the demands of their workers to compensate, according to the State Firemen Association in Texas, the same in Ohio, where Mike Palumbo worked his entire career.
Chrisie Palumbo said, "Like any other person who gets sick or injured at work, the benefits should be there to care for their health and to replace their income . It's so simple. Someone broke his leg
In 2017, Mike and his family helped pass the law of Michael Louis Palombo, a junior law that suggests firefighters will get benefits if they get certain types of cancer in the workplace. "Firefighters just want to have help, and now they have some help, that's really what I mean," Mike said two years ago. However, when Mike himself was too weak to treat cancer, his claim was denied.
He was only two months old to withdraw from his official retirement when he had to turn his badge.
"He did not die in the fire and you can say that day at that time," Chrissey said. "He died of all fires," said Docoful. Do you tell me that because my husband is slowly dying of his job that he should not get the same benefits as someone who died suddenly from their work? And this is the bottom line for me. 1969002] Two years after Palombo's death, half of the current Ohio fire-fighting claims were denied or appealed, including his. Crisis Palumbo says he will continue to fight.
In the meantime, the fire services in the country have begun to focus on prevention.
In Arizona, Dr. Burgess says that one of the easiest things firefighters can do to reduce cancer risk washing their teeth and themselves immediately after calling
"When they go to fire, they get the cancer-causing chemicals on all their equipment, "he said. – In the past they would not divide their equipment. They can sit in their living quarters, maybe with their equipment and take them on the couch, and so on.
Tuscon firefighters are also taught that they look "dirty." not heroic but dangerous. Air masks should remain in place even after the flames have gone out. And many departments invest in a second set of facilities so that something clean (and hopefully no carcinogen) is always at hand.
But for those who have been in force for years, such as Boston firefighter Joseph Finn, the damage can already be inflicted.
Dowoyil asked, "Do you think we are talking today about bearing the remains of fires of the 80s?"
"Uf, there's probably a good chance," Finn said. And he wonders if we can not protect this generation of firefighters, who will go out in the next generation to protect us all?
The youngest son of Chrisie Palumbo, she said, wants to be a fireman like his father. "It scares me," she said. "He emulates his father, and he misses it a lot."
Docochel asked Nicholas Palumbo: "Do you remember when you decided you wanted to be a firefighter?"
"Since I went to the firehouse for the first time," he answered, "what was that?" In principle, better than going to Disney, I can say that! "
Dowowil asked Chrisie: if you said as a parent, would you like Nicholas to become a firefighter? "
No, she said," This is a good profession. This is a good life. But our family has suffered enough. "
For more information:
History produced by Sari Aviv