‘Pull the Alarm on Cancer’ fundraiser at New Sarum Brewery

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 28, 2024

SALISBURY — The Salisbury Professional Firefighters and New Sarum Brewery will host a “Pull the Alarm on Cancer” fundraiser at 6:30 p.m.,  on Saturday.

Burned,” a 30-minute film produced by Mark Ruffalo will be shown. Burned” profiles Diane Cotter who suspected PFAS also known as “forever chemicals” could be present in turnout gear after her husband, retired Worcester, MA Local 1009 firefighter Paul Cotter, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in late 2014. Captain Don Clark of the Salisbury Fire Department will speak at 7:30 p.m., followed by the film screening.

Bring your own lawn chair as the event will be outside. A $10 donation is suggested for viewing the film. Specialty pint glasses and T-shirts are for sale. All profits go towards the Salisbury Professional Firefighters cancer fund, which provides direct funding for Salisbury firefighters diagnosed with cancer. 

Firefighter occupational cancer is the leading cause of line-of-duty death in the fire service. Almost two-thirds of all firefighters battling fires today will be battling cancer in their future. Chronic exposure to heat, smoke, toxicants and carcinogens in protective equipment puts firefighters at higher risk for developing cancer when compared to non-firefighters. 

In May 2023, Salisbury Fire Department Captain Don Clark was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Clark, an elected board member for Local 2370 and 10-year veteran of Salisbury Fire Department, noticed an increase in his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels that might indicate a problem. This increase had not been caught during his job-required annual physical. Thankfully, Clark has since had surgery and, after months of recuperation, is back on the firetruck. Clark’s diagnosis encouraged Local 2370 to work with the city of Salisbury to improve annual physicals and provide annual cancer screenings for firefighters.