BEDFORD (CBSDFW.COM) – The Bedford Fire Department is taking a proactive measure to address an issue that has struck them all too often.

Firefighters within the department say they have lost too many friends and fellow firefighters over the years as a result of cancer they believe was brought on from years of being exposed to carcinogens on the job.

Their most recent loss was Lt. Keith Long, a 24-year veteran who passed away from complications with cancer in December 2016.

Now, the department has brought in an outside company to conduct blood draws in hopes of screening its members for early on-set cancer.

Bedford Fire Chief Sean Fay said, “We’re good at saving the lives of our public and that’s when we decided to start saving our own.”

The test is known as IvyGene screening and, according to administrators of the test, it can detect the early on set of cancer.

Nick Miner from the Laboratory For Advanced Medicine said , “We just want to make sure that they have every tool available to them that can help detect it as early as possible.”

The blood is tested in a lab and then the results are sent to the firefighter’s personal doctors.

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