Grant Pays for Monitors

Dennis Evanosky

Alameda Fire Department Captain David Buckley inspects one of the air monitors that AFD purchased with a grant from Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company.

T oxic-gas detectors could help save firefighters’ lives

On Wednesday, Aug. 22, Fireman's Fund Insurance Company presented the Alameda Fire Department (AFD) with an $11,700 grant. The department will use the money to purchase air monitors that detect toxic gases.

"The presence of toxic gases is one of the greatest hazards firefighters face because of their immediate and long-term health effects," said AFD Chief Mike D'Orazi. "Once a fire is put out, burned items continue to release deadly gases for an extended period of time, putting both firefighters and victims at risk."

Fireman's Fund awarded the grant as part of its Heritage Program, which assists fire service organizations with equipment, training and education programs.

The grant touches home with the department. AFD Captain Scott Carnevale died of cancer after inhaling noxious gases. Doctors diagnosed Carnevale, 42, with esophageal cancer in March 2010;he passed away on Jan. 3, 2011. His on-the-job exposure to smoke, soot and fumes caused the cancer, doctors said.

Carnevale's wife, Elizabeth, was on hand for the grant presentation.

She was also in Sausalito on Sunday, Aug. 19, for Fire Velo Cycling Club's San Francisco Bay to Los Angeles "Fire Service Cancer Awareness Bicycle Ride."

She presented the Firefighter Cancer Support Network a check for $23,000 from the Scott Carnevale Memorial Fund at the start of the ride, which raises understanding about firefighters who suffer with cancer. Three AFD firefighters — Scott West, Rich Navarro and Steve Mrak — rode the first leg of the ride from Sausalito to Half Moon Bay.

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