ROY — To do its part during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Roy Fire Department decided to sport pink shirts all week.
“If you look at professional sporting events, all the athletes are wearing some kind of pink stuff. If they can do it, the Roy Fire Department can do it,” Fire Chief Jason Poulsen said.
Poulsen noted that the T-shirts aren’t just any old pink attire either. They have the Maltese cross, which can easily be picked out as a fire department shirt, he said.
Poulsen’s department, along with Weber Fire District, both picked weeks to wear the shirts every day, all day, all shifts. Even the office staff is wearing the pink shirts.
Poulsen got the shirts at cost and believes the positive response from the community far outweighs the small cost of the shirt. As the crew has gone on calls, people have expressed thanks to the firefighters for wearing the shirts and bringing awareness into the community.
The other day they were taking pictures in their shirts in front of the fire trucks and people honked, cheered and waved as they drove by, showing appreciation for the shirts. Firefighters have also received that response as they and emergency responders have been driving down the street.
“We go on a lot of calls where our patients have had some form of cancer,” Poulsen said. “We see the effects of it every day. This shows we support our patients and our community.”
Poulsen said he thinks the act of wearing the pink shirts hits closer to home than it would if a sports team did it, because it’s right in people’s neighborhoods, being worn by people who are helping them in some way.
“We are a professional organization, they are a professional organization,” Poulsen said of the sports organizations wearing pink.
“What better way to show the community we support them?” he said.
Because of the positive response, Poulsen said, the department will continue with the tradition next year. He figures the cost of the 70 shirts in exchange for community support of those they serve is well worth it. Plus, the firefighters have enjoyed the chance to show their support.