Preventing cancer in firefighters one breath at a time

Hastings Fire and Rescue Exhaust Capture

Firefighters at Hastings Fire and Rescue can breathe easy with the installation of new diesel exhaust source capture systems.

The Hastings City Council approved the purchase of the capture systems last year for around $125,000.Hastings Fire and Rescue Exhaust Capture

Before the capture systems were approved, harmful diesel exhaust from fire trucks and ambulances would be released from their tailpipes directly into the covered parking bays when the vehicles were running.

“Diesel exhaust is a known carcinogen, and firefighters are at a higher risk for certain types of cancer that are caused by that diesel exhaust,” said Hastings Fire and Rescue Chief Brad Starling.

The systems are now fully installed at Station 1 and Station 2, keeping the exhaust from entering the garage and firefighters’ lungs.

The capture devices attach directly onto the trucks’ exhaust pipes, and a system of pipes and fans pull the diesel exhaust out of the building. Because the capture system uses magnets to attach to the trucks, the device will release itself from the truck once a firefighter drives out of a garage and into the open air. Upon return to the fire station, a firefighter can quickly reattach the capture system to a truck as the driver is entering the garage.

“It’s really all about the safety of our firefighters,” Starling said. “This wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the support we received from the city council.”

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