Thanks to the work of Tallahassee’s Fire Department and local unions, the city’s firefighters have secured federal funds to help local fire stations install a much-need air filter system on their trucks.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, diesel exhaust is a carcinogen—capable of causing cancer. Tallahassee Firefighter Lieutenant and a shift rep with the Firefighters Local Union 2339 Jason Reese says that’s what’s coming out of the city’s fire trucks and it could negatively impact firefighters’ health.
“…as well as a lot of our gear in these smaller stations are still kept in the bay where diesel exhaust can fall and particulates can fall on it all day long, every day. Some of our workout equipment is in the bay where diesel exhaust can fall and particulates can fall on workout equipment, or a bench or a dumbbell, and then we go pick it up and we’re sweaty, and then we’re wearing it.”
That’s why Reese says firefighters are grateful for a $430,000 federal grant to allow for the installation of filter systems on most of Tallahassee’s fleet. The city is also adding a 10 percent match, bringing the total to more than $470,000.
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