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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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Snow showers have left the area and we saw anywhere from 2-4 inches of snow. Surface temperatures for the most part remain above freezing so accumulations were mostly on elevated and grassy surfaces. Skies slowly cleared throughout the day with temperatures warming into the mid to upper 40s. Conditions look to dry out and slowly warm throughout the next few days. Rain chances will return mainly through the morning hours on Friday with temperatures back in the 60s. Temperatures will continue to warm through the weekend with highs back in the upper 60s and lower 70s. Temperatures will be close to 80s for the beginning of next week under mostly sunny skies.
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