© Herald photo by Tyler Clarke
Members of the Prince Albert Fire Department are wearing pink all month in support of breast cancer awareness -- their vehicles also donning the bright colour. Pictured in front is the department’s management staff, including deputy chief Jason Everitt, Chief Les Karpluk and deputy chief Corey Rodgers, from left.
After successfully raising almost $10,000 for Muscular Dystrophy during a single day last month, the Prince Albert Fire Department’s ambitions have been raised.
Wearing pink T-shirts, pink ties and their trucks donning pink banners, the department’s latest charitable cause has upped the ante.
“Breast cancer awareness is a serious thing,” department member Adam Dziadyk said.
“One in 29 women will unfortunately pass away from it each year, and over 23,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, so it’s a serious issue, and pink’s a little fun to deal with, so most people, when they see pink it grabs people’s attention.”
Dziadyk is a member of the department’s charity committee -- an organization Chief Les Karpluk said he’s been enthused to see gain momentum over the past few months as a result of a spark lit by a few key members.
“It’s the right cause, really, it is absolutely worth it,” Karpluk said of breast cancer.
“To actually take something like breast cancer and look at the stats on breast cancer -- it really was a no-brainer to get behind and support it.”
“Breast cancer affects men as well,” department member Chris Bourdon noted, adding that firefighters are particularly susceptible.
“There’s a very high rate of all cancers in firefighters, just because of the nature of our job, and just one of them happens to be breast cancer,” he said.
“It’s not only in support of our sisters who are in the fire service, but all women across North America, and of course our brother firefighters and men across North America.”
It’s important that this month’s charity effort is more public than last month’s muscular dystrophy effort, Bourdon said, noting that early detection can be key to surviving breast cancer.
“Consult with your doctor on the best time to get checked out,” he said. “We’re not doctors -- we’re just trying to help out”
To actually take something like breast cancer and look at the stats on breast cancer -- it really was a no-brainer to get behind and support it. Chief Les Karpluk
In addition to raising awareness with their vehicle banners and pink clothing, members of the Prince Albert Fire Department will be hosting a draw this month, with all proceeds going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Prizes include three framed firefighting portraits, a firefighter helmet that’s been painted pink and two Prince Albert Raiders jerseys.
Department members plan on selling tickets at Prince Albert Raiders home games this month. Tickets are also available at the department, located at 76 15th St. E.
Personally affected by breast cancer, staff at JG’s Collision Inc. offered to paint the helmet free of charge as soon as they learned it was linked to a breast cancer fundraiser, Karpluk noted. The Prince Albert Raiders organization donated the jerseys.
All costs related to the public visibility component of this month’s cause, including vehicle banners, were paid for by department members.
Last month’s muscular dystrophy effort saw members of the Prince Albert Fire Department camped out in front of Canadian Tire for a day to collect donations.
During the day, people walking into the store dropped $4,813 into firefighter boots in the aptly named “Fill the Boot” fundraiser -- an amount Canadian Tire owner Malcolm Jenkins matched, bringing the total to almost $10,000.