National Firefighter Registry Subcommittee (NFRS)

The Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018 mandated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create a voluntary registry of firefighters to collect health and occupational information to determine cancer incidence in the U.S. fire service. In response to this mandate, CDC’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) established the National Firefighter Registry (NFR).

The Act also mandated consultation with relevant stakeholders regarding the NFR, including:

  1. Public health experts with experience in developing and maintaining cancer registries;
  2. Epidemiologists with experience in studying cancer incidence;
  3. Clinicians with experience in diagnosing and treating cancer incidence;
  4. Active and retired, paid-on-call, and career firefighters as well as relevant national fire and emergency response organizations;
  5. State health agencies; and
  6. State departments of homeland security.

Subcommittee Charge

To meet this requirement, NIOSH’s Director, Dr. John Howard, charged the NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) to develop a subcommittee with two co-chairs from the BSC at large to provide advice on establishing and operating the NFR. Additionally, Dr. Howard asked the subcommittee to advise on the following issues required by the Act:

  1. Increasing awareness of the NFR and encouraging participation among volunteer, paid-on-call, and career firefighters.
  2. Consideration of unique data collection needs that may arise to generate a statistically reliable representation of minority, female, and volunteer firefighters, including methods, as needed, to encourage participation from such populations.
  3. Information on how the Secretary will store data and provide electronic access to relevant health information.
  4. Working in consultation with the experts included in the subcommittee to develop a reliable and standardized method for estimating the number of fire incidents attended by a firefighter as well as the type of fire incident so attended in the case such firefighter is unable to provide such information.
  5. How new information about firefighters will be submitted to the NFR.
  6. How information about firefighters will be maintained and updated in the NFR over time.
  7. A method for estimating the number of fire incidents attended by a firefighter as well as the type of fire incident so attended in the case such a firefighter is unable to provide such information.
  8. Further information, as deemed necessary.

See the full NFRS charge [PDF – 289 KB].

The NFRS will meet as needed. NFRS meetings are open to the public virtually. Virtual attendance will be provided as indicated in the Federal Register Notices published for each meeting. Please see the registration page for more details.


Dr. Grace LeMasters
Professor – Emeritus
Department of Environmental Health
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati
Term: 01/01/2016-06/30/2023

Pat Morrison
Assistant General President for Health, Safety and Medicine
International Association of Fire Fighters
Term: 01/01/2019-06/30/2023

Designated Federal Official

Emily Novicki
Health Scientist
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Subcommittee Membership

Shawn Brimhall
Fire Protection Specialist
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
Office of Fire Prevention and Control
Fire Training and Education Branch
Albany, NY
Term: 01/21/2020-12/31/2023

Dr. Manny Fonesca
National Association of Hispanic Firefighters
Nashville, TN
Term: 01/01/2023-12/31/2025

Tom Harbour
Mesa, AZ
Term: 01/01/2022-12/31/2023

Dr. Sara Jahnke
Center for Fire, Rescue & EMS Health Research
Leawood, KS
Term: 01/31/2020-12/31/2023

Betsy Kohler
Executive Director
North American Association of Central Cancer Registries
Springfield, IL
Term: 01/17/2020-12/31/2023

Sara Lee
Chief Executive Officer
National Volunteer Fire Council
Washington, DC
Term: 01/01/2023-12/31/2025

Dr. Barbara Materna
Chief, Occupational Health Branch (Retired)
Center for Healthy Communities
California Department of Public Health
Richmond, CA
Term: 01/17/2020-12/31/2023

Dr. Steven M. Moffatt
Executive Director
National Institute for Public Safety Health
Indianapolis, IN
Term: 01/04/2021-12/31/2023

Dr. Demond Simmons
Chief of Training
Oakland Fire Department
Oakland, CA
Term: 01/01/2023-12/31/2025

Victor Stagnaro
Managing Director
National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
Emmitsburg, MD
Term: 01/01/2022-12/31/2023