Protecting You … Protecting Your Family

CPF unveils easy-to-use, mobile-friendly update to Personal Exposure Reporting

Alameda County firefighter Alex Mengell faced down walls of flame on the job. But it was the danger from exposures he didn’t see that nearly took his life.


Whether it’s a structure fire, wildland fire, HazMat response or EMS call, the biggest risks to your health may well be the ones you can’t see. 

Every day, firefighters are exposed to a soup of toxins and biohazards. These exposures can happen on a call, or even while at the station. Sometimes, the effect of these exposures is immediate. More often, it builds up over time, leading to job-related cancer, heart disease or PTSD. 

For your protection, and that of your loved ones, you need to have a record of these exposures … one that’s secure, independent and bulletproof. 

For more than three decades, CPF’s Personal Exposure Reporting (PER) has given members and their families this peace of mind -- a secure online “lockbox” to record your incidents and the toxic exposures they create. If you’re diagnosed with a job-related illness, PER is ironclad proof of your actual exposures. 

“It’s like your PPE on your breathing apparatus,” said CPF Health and Safety Director Kevin White. “This is your PPE for your Workers’ Comp benefits and your medical care.”

Now, PER’s secure online exposure reporting is as handy as your tablet or smartphone. The new Personal Exposure Reporting system (www.peronline.org) provides a simple, streamlined online system that can be completed in a matter of minutes and provide protection that lasts a lifetime.

The updated PER offers a streamlined sequence of screens, each requiring a few taps or clicks. Symptoms, medical information and incident data can be entered easily without having to remember chemical names. Recurring incidents, such as diesel exhaust, can be added with a simple calendar update. New information documents behavioral health effects of calls. And members can download their records any time. 

Best of all, it’s now mobile-friendly, meaning exposures can be entered on the go.

Firefighters who have contracted cancer have used PER data as documentation for Workers’ Comp claims made through the firefighter cancer presumption laws. Although the laws are designed to protect your rights in a job-related illness, employers can, and often do, rebut the presumptions. 

Few know the story better than Alex Mengell. The 37-year-old Alameda County firefighter was, by his own admission, “invincible.”

“I never thought it could happen to me until it did,” he said. 

What “happened” was a May 2016 diagnosis of brain cancer. The cancer was job-related, and is covered under California’s firefighter cancer presumption laws. Still, his employer’s Workers’ Compensation provider denied the presumption claim, forcing Alex to fight for his coverage as he fought for his life. 

“I had reported most of my major incidents already,” he said. “So I went back and reconstructed everything I could find. When I went in with a binder full of my exposure reports, it was over.”

Over the years, more than 100,000 exposures have already been locked away for PER members. These records belong exclusively to the firefighter – unavailable to the employer or the department. 

“We answer only to our firefighters … not the department and certainly not any outside commercial interests,” said CPF President Lou Paulson. 

The cost of participating is minimal -- $10 per year for CPF members, $15 a year for non-CPF members. Dozens of departments and individual local unions underwrite the cost of PER. Check www.peronline.org to see if your reporting is pre-paid. 

“The reality is that you’re far more likely to die of job-related cancer than in a fire,” said Paulson. “You need to report because you never know what can happen ten years, 15 years, 30 years down the line.”

“If you don’t write it down, it didn’t happen,” said Mengell. “You owe it to yourself, and you also owe it to your family.”

 

Sign up today for CPF’s Personal Exposure Reporting. Go to www.peronline.org to register. 


 

Personal Exposure Reporting 2.0

Mobile-friendly: Report exposures anywhere on tablet or smartphone

Streamlined: Simple, intuitive data entry – no chemical names required

One-touch recurring exposures: Easily track diesel and other ongoing exposures

Immediate access: Download exposure records anytime

Privacy: Secure database give peace of mind – your records belong to you.

Inexpensive: Permanent records for the cost of a few cups of coffee

By firefighters, for firefighters: Our mission is to protect you – we work for nobody else.

Protect yourself and your family. Report your exposures

www.peronline.org