Cancer cluster closes fire station in Perth suburb of Success

A Perth fire station will be permanently mothballed after a spate of cancer diagnoses in firefighters over a six-year period. Four staff at the Success fire station in Perth’s south were diagnosed with kidney cancer between 2008 and 2014, sparking an investigation into conditions at the site. Firefighters were relocated to a station in nearby Cockburn late last year amid fears of a cancer cluster. However an independent review by Golder Associates found there was “no identifiable link” between the station and the cancer diagnoses. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) recently issued a statement saying Success firefighters would be permanently relocated. “Despite extensive investigations since mid-2014 and a subsequent review by an independent panel, no cause of the cancers has been found,” Commissioner Wayne Gregson said. “I am advised a cause is not likely to be found and we may never have an answer for why four firefighters from the one station have been diagnosed with the same cancer. “With this in mind I am faced with some confronting choices and have considered the appropriate course of action carefully. “I have come to a decision that I cannot, in good conscience, direct any firefighter to return to the Hammond Road site.” The site was scrutinised by an environmental testing company and the Department of Health, the statement said. In addition, investigations were reviewed by an independent panel, however there was no likely cause established for the four diagnoses. Commissioner Gregson said firefighters were known to be occupationally more susceptible to certain cancers.

ABC News, 6 June 2015 ; ;