Copperas Cove firefighters have donned pink in October and will continue to wear the color to support breast cancer awareness.
“In the last five to six years, this has really taken off,” said Copperas Cove Fire Chief Burney Baskett. “The majority of the fire departments in Texas do this now.”
Every department handles the donning of the pink shirts. In Copperas Cove, the shirts are made through a third party vendor and then sold to firefighters and other city personnel who want to wear the attire.
The funds raised from selling the shirts are donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. This year the department raised more than $500.
The department has had 100 percent participation for the past several years and sold several shirts to other departments, Baskett said.
“I am really proud of the crews,” Baskett said. “They didn’t have to do this. They asked us to do it.”
But the program isn’t just about providing funding, it’s about breast cancer awareness.
“Few sights grab the public’s eye like a firefighter dressed in bright pink,” stated the International Associations of Firefighters’s (IAFF) website. “But all across the United States and Canada, IAFF members are suiting up in pink to fight breast cancer — just one of the many ways firefighters show support for the fight against breast cancer.”
About 12 percent of women in the United States will develop breast cancer, the website stated. About 39,620 women and 410 men are estimated to die from breast cancer in the United States.
Cancer awareness has increased because firefighters are participating locally to draw attention nationally, Baskett said.
Last year, the IAFF was the No. 1 fundraiser nationwide for the Susan G. Komen foundation, stated the IAFF’s website. The group encourages fire departments to participate in the cause.
Firefighters are always working to promote the health and safety of the community, and this is just another way they do that.
“A firefighter heart is for helping folks anyway we can,” Baskett said.