Introducing you to the Columbus Fighting 126

COLUMUBS (WCMH) — Startling numbers show that firefighters are at risk even after the fire is extinguished.

One in ten Columbus firefighters are diagnosed with cancer. The toxins and chemicals from burning plastic, along with smoke, seeped through their protective suits.

Rookie firefighter Aaron Richnavsky looks forward to getting to work.

“It’s a good comradery,” he said. “We help a lot of people every day. You never know what the day is going to have.”

While he loves the job, he faces a lot of dangers, including cancer. An alarming number of firefighters are being diagnosed with various kinds of cancer. The ashes, chemicals, smoke, and other debris seeps into their protective suits. Ultimately, once their bodies are exposed to residue, cancer can grow and develop at any point in their bodies.

“We would always hear stories of guys who had responded to these big industrial fires,” said Captain Roggenkamp. “Four of them got cancer as soon as they retired.”

“It’s become one of the recognized hazards of the job anymore,” Roggenkamp said as an alarm in the firehouse sounded. “We may have to go.”

The crews stand at the ready when they get the call. Now the state is ready for them when and if the cancer call comes for the crews. Governor John Kasich signed the “Cancer Bill 27” earlier this year. It recognizes that cancer in firefighters is a work related illness. This enables the firefighters to get compensation for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.

During the month of February, NBC4 will take a close look at who this new law affects and what is being done to protect the men and women of the Columbus Fire Department. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s