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New gear at Myrtle Beach Fire Department designed to help prevent cancer

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 10:07 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Firefighters with the Myrtle Beach Fire Department now have new gear designed to help prevent leading causes of cancer while on the job.

The department revealed the new hoods, jackets and pants that provide longer coverage and a specially designed liner on the inside that blocks carcinogens and particles from getting inside firefighters’ bodies.

“It’s going to be the long-term benefits that are going to be the most beneficial,” said MBFD Capt. Jon Evans. “Because it hopefully will keep those carcinogens off our skin and protect us better as we do our job, so just reducing that factor of getting cancer hopefully down the road.”

MBFD is also working with new air packs that are lighter, easier to clean and come with more technological options. Officials went further in-depth Wednesday, explaining how they came to choose the new gear that was shown off.

“We put them through wear tests, we looked at price points, we looked all the way around at three different manufacturers. So the committee selected is the MSAG1 and that’s what we went with,” said MBFD Capt. Kenneth Chapman.

Firefighters will be seen wearing the new gear by January, with administrative officials getting theirs later next year. For now, firefighters say the push towards making things safer long-term is a welcome sight.

“It’s definitely nice to come onto the career and have the equipment,” said MBFD firefighter Jacqueline Brengel. ”Because some of the guys that’ve been on line for long periods of time, they’ve been exposed to that cancer already. I am blessed where I’m protected now, so hopefully the long run I won’t have as many medical issues as someone who’s been on the job for 25 years already.”

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