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Battling Cancer: A Stark Message from a Retired Firefighter

John Lord is a former station manager with Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service who retired after 32 years of dedicated service. John, like many firefighters, has been diagnosed with cancer. Recently, he’s been in conversation with De-Wipe Director Jo Taylor MBE and has agreed to share his experiences of firefighter cancer.


“Yesterday I was very pleased to chat with Jo Taylor MBE. As a former fire officer with cancer, and under investigation for a second [type of cancer], I fully support the work Jo has done in bringing products to the market to help reduce the harm from carcinogens to responders post incident.


It is something like Jo I am passionate about, having lost many friends and colleagues to the disease. I do firmly believe our working practice in past years are a major factor; at my company SimTrainer UK we aim to support her as best we can in raising the bar and message.

To front line colleagues, being black and smelly is not the ‘badge of honour’ or sign of a good fire fighter I believed it to be in my early 20s. I loved being busy and being out all the time, but with age you realise it is simply dangerous being covered in the black stuff.”


John’s view is not an isolated one. Nearly half of the 10,000 respondents to the FBU’s recent firefighter decontamination survey felt this ‘badge of honour’ attitude still exists in the UK fire service.


John’s summary to make an instant change is simple: “Keep doing the job you all do well but get clean as soon as you can.”


This includes decontaminating on scene with after fire decon wipes, using equipment wipes to cleanse equipment clothing and PPE, and ensuring you use specially formulated after fire hair & body wash during that all important shower within the hour. As John sums up: “You don’t want to be on the journey that myself and many colleagues are or have been on.”

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Read the positive results of our scientific study confirming De-Wipe as the only scientifically proven UK manufactured eco-friendly after fire decon wipe.

De-Wipe After Fire Decontamination Wipe is Scientifically Tested in Controlled Laboratory