Pasco County Woman Raises Funds for Hoods For Heroes to Provide Chemical-Blocking Hoods to Local Lirefighters
Pasco County, Florida – A local woman, and the mother of a Pasco County firefighter, wanted to do something to help firefighters in her community. She had heard about Hoods For Heroes, and its work to raise funds to purchase and donate chemical-blocking hoods to firefighters. The hoods reduce the incredible risk of cancer that firefighters face every day. So she did something about it. Lori Eppley went to many local businesses, asking them to support the firefighters and explaining their risks. Before too long, she had raised enough to provide hoods for every Pasco County firefighter in Station 34.
The hoods will be presented to Pasco County on Saturday, May 18, at 11:30 a.m. at Station 34, 38316 County Rd. 575, Lacoochee, FL 33537 by Hoods For Heroes.
Hoods For Heroes (H4H) is a Florida-based non-profit organization that works with local, regional and national businesses to raise funds for critical fire gear called particulate hoods. These hoods are specifically designed to reduce exposure to deadly cancer causing chemicals that firefighters are exposed to daily.
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 even 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. Current statistics indicate more than 60% of line of duty deaths are due to cancer.
“We are excited to work with local businesses in Pasco County to support their local heroes,” H4H co-founder Bill Hamiltonsaid. “Partnering with the community to help protect firefighters from constant exposure to dangerous chemicals is our number one priority.”
“We cannot thank Lori Eppley enough for her tireless commitment to protecting our local heroes,” said Jeff Rountree, CEO of H4H. “We also want to share special appreciation to the businesses that made this donation possible, including Norcom Mortgage, Gulf Coast Title, Kent Eppley, Sunshine Tent Rental, Creative Environmental Solutions and Mangrove Skiffs.
“Without socially responsible businesses like these, these fundraising efforts could not happen,” Rountree said.
The hoods will initially be delivered to Station 34 with continued fundraising efforts ongoing for the rest of the county.
About Hoods For Heroes
Hoods For Heroes is a national non-profit with a passion for protecting first responders. The non-profit organization was founded with the mission of providing life-saving equipment to the men and women of the fire service. H4H has partnered with more than 50 private and fire service related companies to raise funds to purchase the particulate hoods. H4H also provides support, awareness and equipment to reduce the rate of cancer throughout the fire service. Visit our website at www.HoodsForHeroes.org or on social media @Hoodsforheroes.
About Pasco County Fire Service
The department operates out of 26 stations (23 career and 3 volunteer) with over 550 paid professional firefighters. There is a support staff of 80 people, which includes administration, ambulance billing, and supply. The department is a cross trained agency in which all paid firefighters are also trained as EMTs or paramedics.