firefighters

Today on Stateside, how does the right to free speech apply when it comes to the personal Twitter accounts of elected officials? Plus, we hear about how a nationwide shortage of volunteer firefighters is affecting communities in the state.

PFAS firefighting foams are still housed at fire stations across the state, according to the state fire marshal. PFAS are a family of chemical compounds that have been found at multiple sites across the state and have been linked to health problems including cancer.

Kevin Sehlmeyer is the State Fire Marshal. He said his office surveyed one thousand fire stations across the state to determine how many still have firefighting foams with PFAS in them.

When Michigan firefighters get work-related cancer, they’re supposed to be covered by the state. But that’s not happening. 

Because more than a year after lawmakers created a cancer-coverage fund for firefighters, they still haven't put any money in it. 

Imagine for a moment what it's like to be a firefighter rushing into a burning home. The smoke can be so thick you can't see your own hand in front of your face.

You're searching for survivors and trying to knock down that fire while doing your best to stay safe.


When we talk about post-traumatic stress disorder, the conversation usually focuses on our members of the military, both active-duty and veterans.

But that misses a large group of men and women who struggle with PTSD: our first responders.

Firefighters have dangerous jobs. We all know that.

But a growing body of research suggests those dangers don’t go away once the flames are put out: several studies say firefighters have a significantly higher cancer risk, even when they’re young.

"Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus."

 "We Hope for Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes."

Fr. Gabriel Richard wrote that after a tremendous fire in 1805 that destroyed most of Detroit.

Those words from the French-Canadian priest became the motto of city - a city whose history is filled with many different kinds of fires.

Michael Jackman spells out this history in his story for The Metro Times.

Listen to our conversation with Jackman below.