Safety Stand Down 2019

Focus on Occupational Cancer Prevention

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have announced the 2019 Safety Stand Down theme. This year’s “Reduce Your Exposure: It’s Everybody’s Responsibility” campaign will take place June 16-22, focusing on increasing understanding of occupational cancer risks and implementing recommendations in the Lavender Ribbon Report, developed by the IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS) and the NVFC.

Firefighters face many health risks, but cancer has emerged as one of the most prominent concerns. Safety Stand Down resources and materials emphasize the importance of firefighters educating themselves, their physicians, and their coworkers about job-related risks; point first responders to the latest information on exposure to carcinogens, including how to limit exposure; and provide best practices and resources regarding reducing the risk of cancer to firefighters. This important initiative encourages everyone to refresh their techniques and learn new skills based on recent research and proactive protocol. Firefighters have a responsibility to protect themselves, their coworkers, and the public from the cancerous byproducts of fire, and this year’s Safety Stand Down provides tools and information to help reduce line-of-duty deaths and critical illness. 

Agencies across the country are encouraged to suspend all non-emergency activities during the week of June 16-22 in order to focus on training and education related to this year’s theme. An entire week is provided to ensure all shifts and personnel can participate. Topic information, resources, training downloads, and videos will be available at, the official website for the Safety Stand Down event.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a Safety Stand Down partner, will once again host the Fire Service Safety Stand Down quiz to generate greater awareness of first responder health and wellness issues. Everyone who completes the online quiz will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes, with 200 randomly selected participants winning a specially designed commemorative Safety Stand Down challenge coin.

The Safety Stand Down is coordinated by the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section and NVFC, and is supported by national and international fire and emergency service organizations, including NFPA.

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world’s leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazmat spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public-safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders. Learn more at

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides invaluable resources, programs, education, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at

NFPA was founded in 1896 and is a global self-funded nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. Learn more at

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