Concord Firefighters Among First to Get PFAS-Free Equipment

Concord Firefighters Among First to Get PFAS-Free Equipment
March 21, 2024

When former Concord firefighter Chris Andrews introduced himself to city councilors, he described himself as ‘a cancer survivor.’

At the outset of his career, new types of protective gear, including the addition of breathing equipment and innovations in boot and pant materials, had made Andrews feel safer than his predecessors.

In his 40s, he listened when national organizations started to raise alarm bells about the presence of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in the gear he had trusted to protect him.

It made him vigilant about getting thorough health screenings at the first sign of trouble.

Andrews was one of several firefighters who testified before City Council last week in favor of a proposal to immediately replace one set of protective gear for each of the city’s firefighters using newly developed, PFAS-free materials.

With increasing evidence of cancer among firefighters being linked to PFAS in gear, they said, it was important to move fast now that alternatives are available.

Thanks to the Laconia Daily Sun for reporting.