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About the National Firefighter Registry (NFR) for Cancer

Logo for the National Firefighter Registry, featuring a firefighter helmet and cancer awareness ribbon

The National Firefighter Registry (NFR) for Cancer is the largest effort ever undertaken to understand and reduce risk of cancer among U.S. firefighters.

NIOSH is recruiting firefighters to join the NFR so that we can better understand the link between firefighting and cancer.

Firefighters are exposed to chemicals on the fireground that could increase their risk of developing cancer. There are many unanswered questions about how cancer risk may vary across our nation’s diverse fire service.

In 2018, Congress passed the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, which directed NIOSH to develop a registry to study cancer among firefighters.


By joining the NFR, you can:

Help protect your brothers and sisters in the fire service from developing cancer

Help lessen the impact of cancer on firefighters’ families and friends

Pave the way for new health and safety measures to keep the next generation of firefighters safe

Improve understanding of cancer risk among minority, female, and volunteer firefighters, as well as groups like wildland firefighters

What Firefighters Need to Know


  1. Any firefighter can join the NFR

The NFR is open to all U.S. firefighters, not just those with a previous diagnosis of cancer. Having many types of firefighters join the NFR is crucial to examining relationships between firefighter activities and cancer. NIOSH encourages all firefighters to participate in the NFR, including:

    • Active, former, and retired firefighters
    • Career, paid-on-call, and volunteer firefighters
    • Structural firefighters
    • Wildland firefighters
    • Industrial firefighters
    • Military firefighters
    • Instructors
    • Fire investigators
    • Other fire service members


  1. Registration is open

Firefighters can join the NFR through the secure web portal. Participation is voluntary. Registration will take about 30 minutes. The NFR is a long-term project that will include voluntary, but important, follow-up questionnaires. Continued participation in the NFR is key to protecting firefighter health. The more researchers know about cancer in the fire service, the more we can do to prevent it.


  1. Personal information will be kept confidential

Privacy and data security are top priorities for the NFR. Identifying information (like name and date of birth) are protected by an Assurance of Confidentiality. Data are protected by numerous safeguards that meet strict Federal guidelines.

For more information, watch our video, How Will the National Firefighter Registry Protect My Data?