The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through its National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), are pleased to launch the National Firefighter Registry for Cancer online enrollment system for firefighters across the nation. The NFR for cancer is the largest effort undertaken by the nation to support and advance understanding of cancer in the fire service. President Biden has shown strong and enduring support for firefighters for decades and this step will help deliver on his commitment to end cancer as we know it as part of the Cancer Moonshot.

Numerous studies show that firefighters’ exposure on the fireground, where smoke and hazardous chemicals are released from burning materials, may increase the risk of certain types of cancer. President Biden has signed two laws that seek specifically to advance firefighter health, safety, and protection from toxic exposures on the job. The National Firefighter Registry (NFR) for Cancer will contribute to these broader efforts by helping scientists better understand the link between cancer and firefighting to ultimately improve firefighter health. The NFR will capture details about firefighters’ work and match it with cancer information from state cancer registries.

While participation is voluntary, all U.S. firefighters, with or without cancer, are encouraged to join the NFR for Cancer; these include:

  • active and retired firefighters

  • career, paid-on-call, and volunteer firefighters

  • structural firefighters

  • wildland firefighters

  • instructors

  • fire investigators

  • other members of the fire service

Visit NFR.CDC.GOV to complete the NFR survey through the secure website. Enrollment takes about 30 minutes to complete. You will:

  • Create an account with a personal password and secure login

  • Give informed consent to participate

  • Create a profile, including contact information and work status

  • Complete a questionnaire with demographics, your fire service and health history, and lifestyle choices

Visit the NIOSH NFR for Cancer webpage to learn more about:

  • Why the registry was created

  • How the registry works

  • Data collection, privacy, and data security

  • Available materials you can share with firefighters Watch “Join the NFR for Cancer” here.

John Howard, M.D., the Director of NIOSH, states that “I encourage all firefighters across America to join the NFR for Cancer — the more firefighters who join the NFR, the more researchers can learn about cancer arising from firefighting and how to prevent it. Firefighters are vital to the safety of our communities and their enrollment in the NFR for cancer can help protect them and the next generation of firefighters from cancer.”

The NFR Team Lead, Kenny Fent, Ph.D., CIH adds that “with more than 1 million career and volunteer firefighters across the U.S., protecting their health and safety is a top priority for NIOSH. We are excited to raise awareness about this groundbreaking effort to better understand and reduce cancer among all types of firefighters, including those who have traditionally been underrepresented in research, such as women, volunteers, and firefighters from racial and ethnic minority groups.”

This press release was originally published April 17, 2023, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is republished with permission.