I think this is the third year our fire department has participated in what is not just an effort to raise awareness, but also a major fundraiser for local healthcare organizations supporting breast cancer patients with screening, treatment and other services. As someone who has lost several family members to cancers of various types, I wish I could say that our department's initiative was my idea, but it wasn't. In fact, some of our members started it at the station level, and it quickly grew into a widespread effort throughout our community.
I know many fire departments go even further: wrapping fire apparatus; wearing pink turnout gear; donning pink helmets; and using all kinds of stickers, magnets, bracelets, hats and other items to raise awareness and money to fight this terrible disease.
There are so many things about the fire service that make me proud. To be sure, it's an honor to work with people who are committed to service. And it's especially humbling to see these same people come together, often on their own, to support charitable efforts of all types.
But sometimes, just like "regular" people, our compass drifts and we need to be reminded who we are and what we do as a fire and emergency service community. This month, it's easy: just think pink!
About the author
With more than two decades in the field, Chief Adam K. Thiel — FireRescue1's editorial advisor — is an active fire chief in the National Capital Region and a former state fire director for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chief Thiel's operational experience includes serving with distinction in four states as a chief officer, incident commander, company officer, hazardous materials team leader, paramedic, technical rescuer, structural/wildland firefighter and rescue diver. He also directly participated in response and recovery efforts for several major disasters including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Tropical Storm Gaston and Hurricane Isabel.
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