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Heated exercise rooms reduce harmful exposure to firefighters

New St. Joseph Fire Stations equipped with Heated Exercise Rooms to sweat out toxin exposure.

Posted: Aug 3, 2018 6:43 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) St. Joseph Firefighters are facing new dangers on the job.

"There's some specific cancers that have been more prevalent in firefighters." said Mike Dalsing, Fire Chief of the St Joseph Fire Department. More and more firefighters are being exposed to toxic chemicals and fumes.

"Cancer is really rapidly rising among firefighters." said Mike Wacker, SJFD Fire Captain, Station 9.

Chief Dalsing says the source of the toxins comes from everyday objects.

"Every piece of furniture has some type of foam or something in it you know." said Dalsing.

Most things in the average home, including the house itself contain elements that when burned release harmful toxins into the air.

"Fires nowadays are very toxic, much more than they were in the past." said Wacker.

A solution could be found at Fire Station 9. There lies a room where firefighters detoxify themselves by working up a sweat.

"We can come in the heated exercise room and do anywhere from ten to fifteen minutes of moderate exercise where we get a good sweat going." said Wacker. 

The idea is to keep toxin exposure to a minimum by sweating out what's absorbed into the body.

"We immediately go in the shower, we're sweating those toxins out, we go in the shower, and we wash it off." said Wacker.

The goal is to reduce the numbers of cancer diagnoses. by taking as many steps as possible to reverse the trend Wacker added, and Improving health for firefighters and their families.

"We want everybody to be able to go home and not contaminate their home, you know their families and their kids." 

Fire Stations 9 and 11 will have the new Heated Exercise Rooms.

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Another round of light snow is expected tonight into Wednesday morning. Snowfall accumulations averaging one inch is expected in most areas. Temperatures will continue to be on the cold side with highs only reaching into the lower 30's. By the end of the week we will see high temperatures in the 50's.
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