North Adams Firefighters Don Pink for Breast Cancer MonthStaff Reports
09:56PM / Monday, October 07, 2013
Firefighters Brent Lefebvre, left, and Matthew Davis, in front; Fire Director Steven Meranti, left, Jeff Bleu and Michael Goodson, second row; and Shaun Hayden, left, John Marlowe and Bob Patenaude, top row, are wearing pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The North Adams Fire Department will be in the pink for the next month to raise awareness of breast cancer.
The idea of wearing the pink shirts was put forward by firefighter Shaun Hayden and embraced by his colleagues.
"Everybody is affected by cancer so we wanted to do something to raise awareness," said Hayden, who added that the department is also putting together a team for Northern Berkshire Relay for Life.
Firefighter Brent Lefebvre said the International Association of Fire Fighters, of which Local 1781 is a part, is also supporting such efforts through October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
"Participation is 100 percent," said Fire Director Steven Meranti. Firefighters signed up to get one of the shirts.
A proliferation of pink T-shirts is being seen around the region and across the country as firefighters, department of public works crews and other municipal departments have donned them. That's caused some controversy and outright bans in some areas because the shirts aren't "regulation."
Meranti said it wasn't a problem in North Adams. Care was made to have the shirts as similar as possible to the regular uniform T-shirt, including the Maltese cross on the front and the North Adams Fire logo on the bank. The only difference is the color and the replacement of a ribbon for the "i" in Fire.
Firefighters also aren't selling the shirts — Hayden was clear that the goal wasn't fund raising but awareness raising.
In addition to getting out the word about breast cancer, the department will be letting residents and children know about the danger of kitchen fires.
The fire station will hold an open house on Wednesday, Oct. 9, from 6 to 8 for Fire Prevention Week. Stations will be set up to explain fire safety for children, such as "stop, drop and roll," and the department is teaming up with Papa Gino's for refreshments.