Hoods For Heroes (HFH) is expanding its community outreach by partnering with Fortis College in Orange Park to build a community awareness and fundraising project. Fortis College in Orange Park, FL provides allied health and nursing training in northeast Florida. The college has been involved in educating medical students since 1996.
The focus of the project is to engage allied health and nursing students in community awareness of the cancer risks faced by firefighters, along with a fundraising effort for Hoods For Heroes. Students will undertake a six-week fundraising program that includes a drawing for a scholarship of up to $2,500 with a matching amount from Fortis College. Each student is working to raise $125, the cost of one protective hood.
“We are extremely excited to work with the Fortis students and staff in the fight against firefighter cancer,” Hoods For Heroes Co-Founder Bill Hamilton said. “Over 300 students are excited about fundraising and supporting firefighters who help protect their communities.”
Cancer in fire service is at epidemic levels. With a 9% higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer and a 14% higher risk of dying from cancer than the general population, it is easy to understand the increased risk Firefighters face on the job. A Firefighter’s risk for specific types of cancer is significantly higher. The National Institute of Science and Health (NIOSH) reports that Firefighters have a 2.02 times higher risk for testicular cancer and 1.53 times at greater risk for multiple myeloma. It is reported that as many as one in three Firefighters will be diagnosed with cancer during their careers with current statistics indicating more than 60% of line-of-duty deaths are due to cancer. The collaboration between Hoods For Heroes and Fortis College will bring awareness and support to those who risk their lives daily to protect others.
“We hope that firefighters will be excited to see the love and support from a local college,” added Hoods For Heroes CEO Jeff Rountree. “There are many students at the post secondary schools that have friends and loved ones who are firefighters. Now they are aware of the problem and committed to helping.”
There are over 2000 firefighters in Clay, St Johns, and Duval counties. Many of the students and their families live in these surrounding areas. Over 200 firefighters are in Clay County alone, where the college is located.
About Hoods For Heroes
Hoods For Heroes is a national non-profit with a passion for protecting the first responders. They were founded with the mission of providing life-saving equipment to the men and women of the fire service. Partnered with more 50 fire service-related and private organizations, HFH provides support, awareness and equipment to reduce the rate of cancer throughout the fire service. For more information, visit www.HoodsForHeroes.org or @Hoodsforheroes on social media.
About Fortis College
Fortis College is a post-secondary network of colleges and institutes that engages students in a powerful learning and training experience for lifelong growth. Fortis offers diploma and degree programs at more than 30 schools in 14 states. Its campuses prepare students for careers in healthcare, nursing, medical, dental, business, information technology, and skilled trades such as welding and HVAC.