Central Lambton Family Health Team poses with firefighters (Photo courtesy of Currie Emergency Photography)

Local health team launches new program for firefighters

The Central Lambton Family Health Team is doing its part to ensure the health and safety of volunteer firefighters in Petrolia and North Enniskillen.

Firefighters are often exposed to hazards like smoke inhalation, asbestos or other chemicals when battling fires.

Executive Director Sarah Milner said they have a higher risk of getting cancer or other diseases.

She said they’ll be doing specialized testing, and baseline physicals to catch those warning signs early.

“We were able to look at flagging them on our electronic medical system so that when any of those volunteer firefighters contact our office and are seen in our office by any medical professional, we know on the chart that they are volunteer firefighters and that allows us to be able to do an assessment with an eye for any of those risks,” she said.

Milner said firefighters are also susceptible to other diseases when dealing with medical assist calls.

She said the program is the first of its kind in Canada, and they’re reaching out to other fire services to further develop it.