COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Jason Vincent has been a firefighter for the past 20 years. He has had some of his best and worst moments of his life including an injury that would end up being a blessing in disguise.
In 2003 he fell 15 feet after a porch collapsed underneath him. He broke his pelvis and eventually the injury wore out his other hip. After getting x-rays doctors found a different problem in a different part of his body. A cancerous tumor was in his chest. Vincent has undergone treatment and is one doctors visit away from remission.
For many firefighters, the job is in Vincent’s blood. “My mothers brother started in 1954 on Columbus fire Department. He got my father and his brother in law in 1971.” The reason he loves the job, is because of the people he spends it with. “You spend so much time with these people. Every third day you spend 24 hours with them. You get to know them. You would just never abandon them no matter what the job did.”
Firefighters from Columbus Fire Department never abandoned him. In just two days, his fellow firefighters racked up a total of three years in paid time off by signing up to do extra shifts. “Other people can donate time for others who are injured or sick.” Vincent is grateful but not surprised. “Firefighters do that stuff all of the time. They help each other…. But still seeing it or hearing about it it is still pretty special.”
Now money is just one less thing on what can seem like a never ending list of worries. “I’m too young it’s too early I still have too much to do. You worry about others.. how everyone is going to take it.. your wife.. your mother your friends.”
Vincent is not alone in his battle of cancer. Roughly 1 in 10 Columbus Fire Fighters are fighting cancer right now. To help spread awareness to the dangers of cancer amongst firefighters you can donate to the non-profit SKNLUV. The organization was started by a firefighter living with terminal cancer and his brother.