By: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson-MEBrady@co.pg.md.us @PGFDPIO
Firefighter/Medic Captain Christopher Hill passed away on July 21, 2016, from cancer. His service included Fire/EMS Department Line of Duty Death and full military honors, as he served his Country with the United States Army. Chris left behind wife Jen, two children, a host of other family and friends, and a grieving Department.
The Maryland Worker’s Compensation Commission, based on the Firefighter Presumption Laws, determined Captain Hill’s illness to be fire service-related. The Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation, according to a study by the University of Cincinnati, states, “Firefighters face cancer rates substantially greater than most Americans. The specific cancers include Testicular cancer, Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, skin and brain cancer, Malignant Melanoma, Prostate, Colon, Leukemia, and skin and brain cancer”.
Jen Hill is devoting her experience with living through Chris’ diagnosis and illness and her grief for what she believes could make a difference in saving the lives of firefighters, as well as helping families to avoid what she endured. Jen has developed a program that will educate firefighters about the dangers of service-related cancers, emphasizing that properly cleaned gear and other preventative measures should be a way of life. She speaks candidly about the effects of losing a loved one and its overall impact on the family.
Jen recently held a one-hour presentation for the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department Career Recruit School #58. She hopes to expand the program to include other jurisdictions.