EDUCATION

Fairfax firefighters wear pink for breast cancer awareness

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Firefighters in Fairfax County are wearing pink to raise awareness about breast cancer.

About 1,600 members of the fire and rescue department and their civilian employees are wearing the pink t-shirts.

“I think seeing firefighters come off the truck dressed in pink is a good visual for the community to see that we're standing behind this,” said Captain Cindy White.

As a medic, White is used to helping others in medical crisis but she says a breast self-exam caught a tumor that turned out to be benign.

“It brings it close to me but I think it brings awareness to everyone,” White says.

The sight of the firefighters turns heads among residents.

“Especially men in pink shirts, it does say a lot. it says that they respect the woman,” said Aretha Walker.

“I think it's a great thing and you know, men get breast cancer too,” said Melissa Moore.

The shirts have been donated and don't cost taxpayers money. The donors say these men and women are good ambassadors for the cause.

“I think firefighters are role models for the community so if they're walking around dressed in pink it shows everyone we should pay attention to breast cancer this and donate,” said Allison Maryan.

Cathi Schultz-Rinehart is a civilian fire department employee and a breast cancer survivor. She says her co-workers efforts are making an impact.

“One of the ladies that I work with said it reminded her that she needed to make her appointment, so that was really good to hear,” Schultz-Rinehart said.

The Fairfax County breast cancer campaign, called ‘We care enough to wear pink,’ may spark a trend across the country.

“The departments and fire companies across the nation are doing this and stepping up and saying it is real, it is serious and we all need to be part of it,” said Craig Robertson.

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