100 Mile Firefighter Cancer Support Challenge


I spent 32 years in the California Fire Service, working with the California Division of Forestry, (now Cal Fire), the Orange County Fire Department, (now the Orange County Fire Authority) and the San Marcos Fire Department where I served as Department Chief up to my retirement in 2006.  

Shortly thereafter, I served the National Catastrophic Planning Team for the New Madrid Seismic Zone where I developed Catastrophic Response Plans for the State of Tennessee and FEMA R-IV.  In 2010, I worked at the US Army Installation Management Command assisting with army fire departments throughout the world. Since then, I have provided emergency management consulting services to various Federal and state agencies throughout the United States.


Many years ago, I was diagnosed with job related skin cancer, which is now in remission.  My daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer right before the start of the 2018 challenge, and my brother is a cancer survivor, but still struggles with the long-term effects of the treatment he received. When I take on the 2021 Challenge, I will be 66 years old.


Thank you for considering a pledge. Together we can make a difference in addressing the issues of firefighter occupational cancer.


Larry Webb, Fire Chief Retired.

A Message from Chief Webb 
January 26, 2021

Obstacles; you can let them defeat you, or you can let them define you.  Which will you choose in 2021?  In 2017, Lillian Carney and her family faced the biggest obstacle of their life when Lillian’s husband, Battalion Chief Josh Carney was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma.  He was only 41 years old at the time, but less than four months later, this aggressive cancer claimed Josh’s life.  It was at this juncture, that Josh’s family made a choice.  Were they going to let this obstacle defeat them, or define them?  The Carney Strong Initiative grew from that desire to not let that obstacle defeat them, rather to preserve Josh’s legacy they made it their mission to raise awareness of the dangers of occupational cancer in the fire service.

Our nation, along with many other countries across the globe continue to face big challenges in overcoming the impacts of the current pandemic.  Each day, a new obstacle is faced, and each day decisions are made to overcome those obstacles. But, while we work towards ending the current pandemic, we also still have much work to do as our firefighters still wage the battle of cancer in the fire service. Our firefighters and the departments in which they work still need your help.


With new restrictions being placed on worldwide travel, I am now faced with yet another obstacle to overcome. I can let that obstacle defeat me, or I can let that obstacle define me. In discussions with my team members in Scotland, it is clear that my final 100 miles has to be rescheduled for a third time.  So like Josh’s family, this current obstacle will define me and not defeat me.  It will be a challenge for sure, but a challenge worth taking, as with each mile you support, based on each mile I trek, will allow the Carney Strong Initiative to continue their work in raising awareness regarding cancer in the fire service.  Chief Carney’s legacy lives on with your support of the 100 Mile Firefighter Cancer Support Challenge. Join me in the fall of 2021 as I take on the next 100 miles.

The goal for 2021 will remain the same. To raise $10,000 for the Carney Strong Initiative, named in honor of Battalion Chief Josh Carney who passed at the very early age of 41 from stage 4 melanoma cancer. Founded by his wife Lillian, their mission is to assist small and rural departments in being able to fund supplies needed for managing a cancer prevention and decontamination program. Please consider sponsoring the 2021 challenge with a tax deductible donation, and keep following and sharing the page to help get the word out.

“It’s not the event, but the recovery that counts.” Here is the link for making your pledge.

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Carney Strong