JAMESTOWN – A memorial service for a local first responder will be held this week after his fight with cancer came to an end.
Charles VanGuilder, Jr., 42, of Celoron, passed away over the weekend. VanGuilder gave much of his life to serving others as a Celoron Volunteer Fire Fighter, as well as being a member of the Chautauqua County Hazmat Team.
In the past year, lawmakers have been working to pass a law that would help doctors track and treat firefighters with cancer.
Just this week, New York State Senator Charles Schumer urged the House of Representatives to pass legislation creating a national firefighter cancer registry.
Schumer said research has found a strong connection between firefighting and an increased risk for several major cancers, including testicular, stomach, multiple myeloma and brain cancers.
The Senator said firefighters are exposed to a range of harmful toxins such as asbestos and flame retardants that are linked to cancer.
The registry would make epidemiological information available to health researchers.
VanGuilder’s memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday at Lind Funeral Home.
A viewing is scheduled for Wednesday evening from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m.
His family said, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Celoron Volunteer Fire Department.