Firefighters essentially using ‘bandanas’ when battling wildfires: expert – CTV

July 14, 2023

Firefighters battling wildfires in Canada risk their lives to ensure communities stay safe, but according to an expert, they’re not being protected themselves.

The unpredictable nature of fire is a risk firefighters face on the job, but so is breathing in toxic fumes, a factor the public may be less likely to consider.

Neil McMillian, director of science and research for the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), told CTV’s Your Morning that these firefighters are exposed to a great level of smoke, and that this exposure can have an impact that lasts well beyond the end of the current wildfire season.

One of the issues, he said, is a lack of access to proper protections.

“Our members are still relying on technology that really is not dissimilar of what you would see cowboys use in bygone eras keeping dust from their face, these are bandanas, in essence, providing no real respiratory protection for them,” he said.

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