For Hometown News
A pink fire engine responding to emergency calls just might turn a few heads, on which the New Smyrna Fire Department is counting.
The department has rolled out the eye-catching vehicle in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
"We are building on the awareness we started last October when our crews wore pink T-shirts," said Shawn Vandemark, battalion chief.
"It's the department's second year of adding pink to their uniform during October," said Tom Bull, vice-president of the New Smyrna Beach Professional Firefighters organization. Some New Smyrna Beach employees also will show their support by wearing the symbolic "awareness" color. Crews purchase their own T-shirts.
Pink duty apparel helps to promote awareness of breast cancer, according to Mr. Bull. Not only are crews wearing the shirts on shift, they also are selling them to raise money for the Making Strides Against Cancer annual walk Oct. 27 in Daytona Beach.
T-shirts are $10-$20 and may be purchased at New Smyrna Beach Fire Station 52, 500 E. Third Ave. Youth sizes and short- and long-sleeved shirts are available.
While pink often is considered a feminine color, breast cancer is anything but solely a woman's disease, Mr. Bull said. Since men also may be diagnosed with the disease, the department is hoping the sight of pink uniforms will build awareness across the city and the sexes.The pink engine will rotate from station to station around the city throughout October.
To create the eye-catching look, the red fire engine was wrapped in pink vinyl. The cost of the project was $1,000, which was split between the city and the New Smyrna Beach Professional Firefighters organization.
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a "collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies.