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Akron firefighters mourn loss of former president who fought for their health, safety

Russ Brode
Posted at 5:59 PM, Jun 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-14 17:59:31-04

AKRON, Ohio — The Akron Fire Fighters Association Local 330 is mourning the loss of its former president Russell Brode, who died from occupational cancer—a disease he worked to prevent in his colleagues.

Brode, 54, served as the president of the organization from 2014 to 2018, during which time he proudly represented his fellow firefighters, fighting for worker’s rights at city hall, the statehouse and even the U.S. Capitol, Akron Fire Fighters Association Local 330 said.

Akron Fire Fighters Association Local 330 announced that Brode had died on Saturday following a battle with occupational cancer, or cancer acquired from exposure to carcinogens while working.

Brode was an advocate for better care and training for firefighters across Ohio at risk of occupational cancer from inhaling cancer-causing toxins from smoke and chemicals during fires, according to an article by News 5 media partner Akron Beacon Journal.

After pushing for better care for years, a law was passed in Ohio allowing firefighters, past and present, with occupational cancer to file workers’ compensation claims while also funding training for firefighters to prevent exposure to the toxins that cause occupational cancer, ABJ reported.

“Fire Fighters and workers across this state, have lost a passionate advocate for safer working conditions and workers rights. Russ will be greatly missed. Not only as a supporter of unions, but more importantly, as a friend to many. May peace be with him and his family today,” Akron Fire Fighters Association Local 330 wrote on Facebook.