Saw this at the WEMSA Working Together Conference in Milwaukee.
I think it's sweet, I really do. A bunch of macho, hairy-chested firefighters show their softer side by raising money for a very important cause, ie breast cancer awareness. They wear pink, they stand on street corners filling boots with donations, they wear pink work shirts.
Heck, they even paint their engines pink, all in the name of Saving The Boobies.
Yet, I have yet to see a piece of apparatus painted royal blue, or see a firefighter standing on a street corner raising money for prostate cancer.
You know, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of them have prostate glands, and a 1 in 6 chance of getting prostate cancer. Or the fact that prostate cancer kills more men than breast cancer kills women, each and every year. Or the fact that despite those numbers, prostate cancer research still gets a tiny fraction of of the research dollars compared to breast cancer.
There are over thirty fire blogs in the JEMS EMS/Fire Blog Network, and as far as I know, all of them are written by men. Only a couple of the entire network of bloggers are female. That's 44 men, give or take, blogging right here on this network.
That means that at least seven of us will probably develop prostate cancer in our lifetimes.
And at least one of us will die from it.
As far as I know, none of the fire bloggers here participated in Kilted to Kick Cancer. Some donated money, to be sure, but none of them actively solicited donations on their blogs. In fact, when it came to fundraising, the gunblogger community beat the EMS and fire blogging communities like they stole something.
So here's my challenge, both to the fire bloggers here on this network, and to firefighters in general:
Who among you is going to go blue for the month of September?
Do your usual fundraisers for breast cancer awareness for October, guys. Keep the pink shirts and pink ribbons, participate in Run For The Cure. Heck, spray every apparatus you have Pepto Bismol pink, if it makes you feel good. It's a good cause, and it deserves our support.
But September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
Strap on your kilts (they even make a nice firefighter tartan), put up a blog badge, and do something tangible for prostate cancer awareness.
And I want to see some friggin' fire engines painted blue, or at least with a big honkin/ blue ribbon down the side. I'm going to have one on my ambulance, you can bet on that.
And come September, I want to see pictures of you in your kilts, and your engines decorated in blue.