Henry Thoret was a Captain in the NYC Fire Department during the 1920s and 1930s. From all accounts, he had a jovial, larger than life personality and put a lot the roar into the roaring twenties. As a firefighter for almost thirty years he had more than his share of heroic stories but what his family remembers most about him is that he had a heart of gold – generous even during those years of the great depression, when it was hard to make ends meet; Henry knew it was even harder for many others. His legacy continues more than 77 years after his death in 1940. Henry was my great grandfather, but he died long before I was born. He died of lung cancer at the age of 52. It was not uncommon for firemen to die of lung cancer in those days and though the science was not resounding at the time, most firefighters knew there were risks to their health beyond the fires they battled.
Today the science IS resounding and the many health risks to firefighters are undisputed. Project Fundraise for Fitness is about to launch a promotion to install an infrared sauna in any fire station in the country that would like one. The benefits of infrared sauna are well-documented, albeit quietly (see JAMA*, 2017). Beyond pain relief and enhancing rehabilitation, of particular relevance to firefighters is the ability of infrared saunas to promote stress reduction and detoxification. If you would like more information about how to get your local fire station on the list or want to donate click below