The Roseville Fire Department recently honored long-time residents and supporters Hugh and Julie Thibodeau for a generous financial donation that allowed the department to invest in an infrared sauna.
The new sauna will be used by firefighters in post-firefighting decontamination procedures.
Each year, hundreds of firefighters across the country are diagnosed with cancer. Research indicates that firefighters are more at risk for the disease because crews are consistently exposed to contaminants and toxins when fighting fires.
The latest studies on how to combat this risk to firefighters suggests that sweating as part of decontamination procedures can help release dangerous toxins before they can build up.
The rising awareness of higher-than-normal cancer rates among firefighters and a new way to help mitigate the effects of exposure to toxins prompted the Thibodeaus make their gift.
Unlike traditional recreational saunas that use steam or heat to raise body temperatures and induce sweating, infrared saunas use invisible infrared light, allowing firefighters to be “call ready” and not overheated while still on-shift.
Firefighters have already begun incorporating the sauna into their decontamination protocols.