Three focus groups were held over two days with Delaware firefighters from Clayton, Ellendale, Millsboro and Christiana and the Fairfax County Fire Department from Virginia.

The Clayton Fire Company recently hosted three cancer focus groups that were facilitated by the University of Miami.

The university received a FEMA grant to conduct a study to learn more about volunteers and how cancer affects them, what is being done to help reduce the rate of cancers in firefighters, and firefighters’ general concerns. The study will be used to gather data from volunteers and how they can be best served when it comes to cancer prevention. The next phase will be medical monitoring of volunteers.

Three focus groups were held over two days with firefighters from Clayton, Ellendale, Millsboro, Christiana, and the Fairfax County Fire Department.

“Cancer is now one of our greatest worries in the fire service and this study will go a long way in gathering data and facts to assist us in developing a solution to the issue of cancer,” said Clayton Fire Chief Alex Carrow who is president of the Kent County Fire Chiefs Association.

Clayton is also collaborating with Bayhealth Hospital’s Kent Campus to develop a long-term plan for the members and will be working with the University of Miami to assist them.

Clayton Fire Company President Kevin Wilson, a past chief, said, “When I joined the fire company in 1974, we had very little protection and we did things that today would be looked upon as just plain wrong. We have come a long way and have a long way to go.”