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Media Release

​Success firefighters to be permanently relocated
Saturday 6 June 2015 – 9:00 AM

Firefighters from Success Fire Station will be permanently relocated, after four of their colleagues were diagnosed with kidney cancer between 2008 and 2014.

Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson spoke to the serving firefighters from the Station yesterday afternoon and advised them he will not be directing any firefighter to return to the Hammond Road site.

“Despite extensive investigations since mid-2014 and a subsequent review by an independent panel, no cause of the cancers has been found,” Commissioner Gregson said.

“I am advised a cause is not likely to be found and we may never have an answer for why four firefighters from the one station have been diagnosed with the same cancer.

“With this in mind I am faced with some confronting choices and have considered the appropriate course of action carefully.”

“I have come to a decision that I cannot, in good conscience, direct any firefighter to return to the Hammond Road site.”

Following the diagnosis of the firefighters in 2014, extensive action was taken including:

·      testing of the Hammond Road site by an independent environmental testing company

·      analysis of the work history of the firefighters

·      voluntary medical testing of firefighters who had an association with the station

·      an investigation by the Department of Health, and

·      a review of these investigations by an independent panel consisting of experts in the fields of occupational health, oncology and public health.

None of these investigations have found any likely cause of the four firefighters being diagnosed with cancer.

Commissioner Gregson said DFES would be reviewing the health programs provided to firefighters to determine what more could be done in support of firefighter health.

“The health and safety of our emergency services personnel is paramount and is a key priority for DFES,” he said.

“Firefighters are known to be occupationally more susceptible to certain cancers and this is recognised in the Government’s presumptive legislation.”

“I have requested a review of our current health monitoring programs so that I can be sure our firefighters across the State are provided with all available support in the prevention and detection of cancers.”

The Success Fire Station appliance and crew are currently operating from the Cockburn Volunteer Emergency Services Complex and will continue to do so whilst alternative facilities are investigated.

DFES thanks the City of Cockburn and the volunteers for their support in the ongoing use of this facility. 

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