Albert Lea firefighter loses battle with cancer
ALBERT LEA, Minn. (KTTC) – A longtime Albert Lea firefighter lost his battle to cancer this weekend. 38-year-old Lt. Brett Boss died Sunday. He fought cancer on and off for about ten years. According to a GoFundMe, Boss died Saturday of Stage 4 Ewings Sarcoma.
Lt. Boss was an advocate for bringing awareness to the increase in firefighters dying of cancer. He worked heavily with the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN), a group of firefighters that aim to provide resources, support and education to first responders in need.
Rochester firefighter, Capt. Caleb Feine, worked with Boss early on in his career and at FCSN. He said Boss was one of the biggest advocates pushing awareness on the issue he knew.
“Brett was a huge advocate for firefighters around the state,” he said. “Especially here in south east Minnesota. Aside from that, he was a parent, a husband. He had a family. He was an all around great guy.”
While it’s not scenically proven to be connected to their profession, firefighters have cancer twice the rate of the general public.
“I hope this spurs some positive change, and we start to look at things in a more positive manner, in terms of getting cleaned up when we are exposed to carcinogens in the fires we fight,” Feine continued.
No word yet on funeral arrangements for Boss.
Albert Lea Fire Rescue honored Boss in a tribute Facebook post Sunday night. It read “Brett left an impact on his community that can’t be measured.”
Feine hopes that moving forward, firefighters continue to be diligent.
“The biggest thing we can do as a fire service is to protect ourselves. We know the steps we have to go through to protect ourselves to be as safe as we can in this environment,” he said.”
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