In November of 2022, Twain Harte CSD's Fire Department (THFD) received an anonymous donation of an infrared sauna as part of the department's new Post Incident Decontamination Program. Firefighters have a 9% greater risk of being diagnosed with cancer and a 14% risk of cancer-related death. After extensive research THFD implemented improvements to its fire hoods to help reduce carcinogen exposure by 80-90% around the head, neck, and face. The department also issued special carcinogen-absorbing style wipes that the Firefighters use immediately after responding to a fire. Studies have shown that this type of post-decontamination step will help reduce heavy metals and carcinogens absorbing into the bloodstream. The last critical component of this decontamination program was an infrared sauna. The infrared sauna heats the body from the inside out, causing you to sweat while detoxing the body of carcinogens and trace heavy metals. Not only does the infrared sauna benefit in detoxing the body but it also improves Cardiovascular Health, Blood pressure, Heart Health, Stress, Cortisol Levels Muscle and Joint Pain, and improves Immune Systems. Twain Harte Fire Chief Neil Gamez created the department’s Post Incident Decontamination policy and Cancer Prevention program after one of Twain Harte Fire Department Captains, Paul Waite passed away from occupational cancer in 2016.
Chief Gamez states “I want to ensure I am doing everything I can to keep up on the trends when it comes to health and safety for our department members, giving them the tools to prolong their life after retirement. I am very happy we were able to acquire this tool to better promote health and wellness within our department."