Dalmatians are the iconic firehouse dogs, but it’s beagle-hound mixes that might end up saving some lives. The Modesto Fire Department is among more than 50 across the nation working with Canada-based CancerDogs to sniff out the disease through firefighter breath tests.
The department first participated in the experimental program 2 1/2 years ago, said firefighter Jeremy Eldredge, who is the project manager, or liaison, between CancerDogs and the MFD. Of the department’s approximately 125 firefighters, all participated except a handful who either didn’t want to or were injured and off the job. This year, only one person has opted out, and Eldredge said he’s trying to work out getting tests for even those out injured.
The test is simple, fast and inexpensive. The $20-per-person cost is being paid by Modesto City Firefighters Association Local 1289, and the department is making sure personnel have time to be tested while on the job, …