Cancer Cluster Found at Infamous Fire Facility

20 January 2015

Firefighters who worked at the Fiskville Training Facility have higher than expected rates of skin, testicular and brain cancer.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Emergency Services, Jane Garrett, today announced the findings of the Fiskville Cancer Study.

The study, conducted by Monash University, examines cancer and death rates linked to the site between 1971 and 1999.

Among a group of 606 people who worked and trained on the fire ground, a total of 69 cancers were discovered that resulted in 16 deaths.

Staff who worked full time, and who were exposed to flammable chemicals, combustion, foams and recycled firewater, developed melanoma and testicular cancer at higher than expected rates.

Part time instructors considered to be in the medium risk group showed higher than expected rates of brain cancer.

The Andrews Labor Government will ask the Parliamentary Inquiry into Fiskville to include the Monash report in its considerations. The Inquiry will also get to the bottom of how this occurred, how widespread the exposure was and who should be held responsible.

The CFA has written to those involved in the study. Firefighters and Victorians concerned about these findings are urged to call the Hotline on 1800 060 729.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Our firefighters work hard to protect us. It’s our turn to protect them.”

"We always thought Fiskville was a problem and now we know it was one with tragic consequences."

"We must learn the lessons of Fiskville, because this can’t be allowed to happen again."

Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services, Jane Garrett

"We will deal with the findings for the sake of our firefighters and their families"

"We have set up a Parliamentary Inquiry into Fiskville and we expect its interim report at the end of June this year."

"The inquiry will come up with recommendations to reduce the harm and provide justice for the victims and their families."

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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