Episode 21 - Keith Tyson

Keith Tyson, retired from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue in 2008, after serving 34 years as a Paramedic/Firefighter, and within 6 months of retirement, was diagnosed with both prostate cancer as well as several skin cancer issues.

He immediately began researching different cancer issues in the fire service, only to find alarming rates of cancer not only in his home agency, but in other departments as well.

In 2009, he formed the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, Florida Chapter (FCSN), where is currently serves as the State Director as well as the Vice President for Education, Research and Outreach for the national Firefighter Cancer Support Network.

He was actively involved in both the 2103 White Paper developed by the FCSN, “Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service” which was lauded as “one of the most significant documents to be published for the fire service in this decade” by Janet Wilmoth of Fire Chief Magazine, as well as the 2017 FCSN White Paper, which will be released shortly.

He has taught his “Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service”, an “on-duty” class to thousands of firefighters across the country. This is a class that no one “thinks” they want to listen to, or need, but for those that do attend, they immediately change the way they do “business.” The class has been extremely well received by the newest, as well as the most senior, members of every department.

He is actively involved with the Florida Professional Firefighters in gathering data to work towards a firefighter cancer presumption law for Florida’s firefighters and has submitted some of his own personal research to national research centers, such as the University Of Miami Sylvester Cancer Center and the University of Cincinnati, which are well known for their studies on firefighters, their exposures, and their types of cancer for further review.

He collaborated with the IAFF to develop an online Cancer Awareness course for present and past members. He has given educational presentations to fire departments around the U.S. as well as specialized presentations to the Florida Fire Chiefs/Florida Professional Firefighter's Health and Safety Symposium, the IAFF, the IAFC, the NVFC, as well as FDIC, the NFFF Tampa 2 conference, Fire Rescue International Conference, and other relevant fire service organizations.

He has had numerous articles published in fire service journals including, Fire Department Safety Officer, (FDSOA), FASNY’s -The Volunteer Firefighter, The N.Y. State Fire Chief’s magazine -Size-Up magazine, Journal of the Police and Fireman’s Insurance Association’ s The PFIA Protector, JOIFF’s Catalyst, The Florida Fire Service magazine, Fire Engineering and others.

He currently sits on several national committees addressing this pressing topic including the University of Miami’s Sylvester Cancer Center’s Firefighter Cancer Initiative (FCI), the National Fallen Firefighters Cancer Alliance, the Fire Protection Research Foundation’s PPE Cleanliness study, the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue’s Firefighters Against Cancer Epidemic team, (FACE), the Florida Regional Health and Safety Collaborative, as well as others fire service committees dealing with firefighter health and safety issues.

Firefighter Cancer Support Network: https://firefightercancersupport.org/

Movie:  Hacksaw Ridge

Keith's email: ktyson@fcsn.net