In a dedicated effort to enhance the health and safety of our local firefighters, the Broome County Office of Emergency Services has recently acquired and distributed 193 5-gallon pails of a new, environmentally friendly firefighting foam to fire departments in need throughout the county.

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Firefighting foam, known as aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), plays a crucial role in fire suppression by creating a blanket that effectively cuts off the oxygen supply from the fuel, preventing it from further combustion.

However, concerns have arisen regarding the use of certain chemicals in traditional firefighting foam, particularly per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS). These chemicals, commonly used to make coatings and products resistant to heat, oil, stains, grease, and water, have been linked to adverse health effects, including altered immune and thyroid function, kidney and liver disease, and cancer. Additionally, PFAS can cause significant harm to the environment when released through runoff.

In response to these concerns, the Broome County Office of Emergency Services took proactive measures by procuring a new firefighting foam, named "Green Plus." Unlike traditional foam, Green Plus foam does not contain PFAS, ensuring it is not only environmentally safe but also protective of the well-being of our first responders in the field. The Office is working to responsibly dispose of the previous firefighting foam to safeguard the environment.

All fire departments in Broome County were allowed to receive the Green Plus foam, to equip them with the tools necessary to mitigate fires effectively while prioritizing the health and safety of both firefighters and the environment.

The following fire departments within Broome County have decided to participate in this foam distribution initiative:

Johnson City
West Corners
Sanitaria Springs
West Windsor
Choconut Center
Five Mile Point

By providing fire departments with this safer alternative foam, Broome County aims to support their critical work while minimizing the potential risks associated with traditional foam that contains PFAS chemicals.

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