Kelowna firefighters will don pink t-shirts for two weeks later this month to show their support for the fight against breast cancer and the upcoming Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s annual CIBC Run For The Cure.
The local firefighters agreed to support the cause after their international association adopted it as a cause to support and asked its members to participate in the the pink-shirt campaign.
“Actually, it wasn’t a hard decision at all,” said Kelowna fire chief Jeff Carlisle. “We all have friends and family members who have been touched by cancer in some way and in our line of work we are exposed every day to materials that can lead to cancer.”
He said there are now 10 presumptive cancer concerns listed in recent legislation covering the health of firefighters on the job. Local MLA Norm Letnick was instrumental in getting that legislation passed in the B.C. legislature earlier this year.
Carlisle said during the two weeks leading up the Run For The Cure, Sept. 15 to 30, all Kelowna fire will wear the pink t-shirts as part of their uniform while on the job.
Carlisle said because of the highly visible nature of the neon pink shirts and the fact that firefighters are already so visible in the community, he hopes it will help raise awareness of the fight to find a cure for a disease that will hit an estimated one in nine Canadian women during their lifetime .
In addition to wearing the t-shirts, firefighters will also sell them at the Run For The Cure event on Sept. 30 in City Park in Kelowna for $20 each. All the money raised will go the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Larry Holier, president of IAFF 953, the Kelowna local of the International Association of Fire Fighters, said just like his members do with their Burn Fund and muscular dystrophy fund raising campaigns, local firefighters are happy to lend their support to such a worthy cause.
“It’s all about helping in the community,” he said.
Later this month, on Sept. 22, local firefighters will also hold their annual collection for muscular dystrophy throughout the city.