NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — The leading cause of death among firefighters is occupational cancer, surprisingly beating out heart disease.

According to a news release, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FSCSN) are dedicated to switching the trend to save more firefighters’ lives.

During Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month, the IAFF and FCSN are going to partner to deliver education, practices, and resources to lower the effect of cancer on firefighters.

The month-long campaign will include stand-downs, fact sheets, podcasts, survivor stories, and training briefs.

Those materials will help to focus the scope of the cancer problem, prevention, best practices, survivorship, leadership tactics to encourage prevention, and skills to help departments lower the risk of cancer.

Topics will be reinforced through online resources.

“Cancer is the leading cause of death among firefighters, accounting for more than 74% of the line-of-duty deaths added to the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Wall of Honor each year,” said IAFF General President Edward Kelly. “We must educate ourselves and do everything we can to extinguish cancer from the fire service. The IAFF and FCSN are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to keep firefighters healthy on and off the job.”

“As we continue to learn more about the link between firefighting and cancer, it is more important than ever that we take steps to minimize the risk firefighters face every day,” said FCSN CEO Bryan Frieders. “The science around firefighter exposures is constantly changing but with continued research, we learn more and more and are better equipped to introduce prevention practices to reduce our risk of developing occupational cancer.”