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Firefighter Health Is Focus At Memorial Event

The area has not had any line of duty fire department deaths in the last year, but, Cincinnati Fire Chief Roy Winston says 48 former firefighters have passed. He gave the keynote address at the Firefighter Memorial Service Thursday afternoon, and says technology and training have helped reduce the number of on-the-job fatalities.

"The biggest danger to our firefighters is not necessarily their safety. It's their health. Cancer is the leading cause of firefighter deaths today with heart disease coming in second. We are seeing large numbers of our firefighters die too early into retirement of many of these very same things."

Winston says many deaths could be prevented through early detection. He says the department has received a federal grant to help set up a health and wellness program for firefighters.

In the Assistance to Firefighters grant program, the federal government will provide Cincinnati with $649,864, but requires a 10% local match. Fire Department Spokeswoman Catherine Ritter says that $64,986 will come from the department's budget. She says notification came at the end of August.

To see photos from Thursday's memorial, click the photo above. 

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.