Fire crews wear pink for breast cancer awareness
Posted: October 3, 2012
The Winchester Star
Local fire and rescue workers are sporting pink T-shirts this month to raise awareness about breast cancer.
“We’re in the business of saving lives and hopefully we can help this way, too,” said Jodi Jones, Frederick County Fire and Rescue specialist.
Fire and rescue personnel from both Frederick County and Winchester are participating in the cause. City personnel will wear pink T-shirts while on duty Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the rest of the month, and Frederick County employees will wear their pink shirts during the week of Oct. 15.
“So many of us have family members or a friend that we’ve known who had breast cancer or are fighting breast cancer,” Jones said of the crews’ passion for the cause.
According to statistics from the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation, about 226,870 new cases will be diagnosed among women in the United States in 2012 and approximately 39,920 will die from the disease.
In Virginia alone, it is estimated that 1,110 women will die from the disease and 6,190 will be diagnosed with it this year.
Jones encouraged women to go for mammograms, emphasizing that more lives can be saved through early detection.
All proceeds from Frederick County Fire and Rescue T-shirts — which were made and bought by personnel — will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Winchester firefighter and medic Steph Showalter, who spearheaded a T-shirt sale effort in the city, said the project was especially meaningful to her because she lost a friend about a year and a half ago to breast cancer.
“That kind of really triggered me into being a supporter of [the cause],” she said.
Personnel in the city paid a minimum of $5 for their T-shirts and have already sold more than 400 to the community.
The money raised will be donated to Wellspring — a service of Winchester Medical Center that brings together health care, community and supportive services to address the needs of people battling cancer.
Winchester Fire and Rescue Chief Scott Cullers said that several firefighters within the department approached senior staff with the idea to wear and make T-shirts for the cause.
“This is something that’s new to us,” he said. “We’re pretty strict with uniform requirements and regulations.”
He added that an exception was made because employees were so passionate about helping.
“All the credit goes to them, not us,” Cullers said.
Brandon Buchanan, city firefighter and EMT, said they started the project last year, but with a late start, they weren’t able to do anything until this year.
“We just kind of wanted to branch out and do something different for the community,” he said.
Residents can purchase T-shirts for $10 for sizes small through extra-large and $12 for 2XL through 4XL. To purchase a T-shirt, email Buchanan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Contact Melissa Boughton at email@example.com