by Pam Zubeck
In addition to fighting fires and running medical calls, the Colorado Springs Fire Fighters join other departments from across North America by sporting the color pink throughout October in efforts to fight breast and other cancers.
The Colorado Springs Professional Firefighters and have been fundraising for Breast Cancer Awareness through t-shirt sales since May and by joining the “Do you Tu-Tu” campaign created by the Susan G Komen Foundation for 2013. Now that Breast Cancer Awareness month is here, you will see your Colorado Springs Fire Department sworn and civilian staff wearing pink “Firefighters Support the Fight” t-shirts as part of the duty uniform.
Fire fighters exposed to carcinogens and other chemicals while on the job are disproportionately diagnosed with breast cancer – just one of many cancers linked to the work fire fighters do. With one in eight women diagnosed each year, an estimated 232,340 new cases of breast cancer and 39,620 deaths will be reported in 2013. Among all women affected, 85 percent have no family history. Breast cancer in men is rare, but it does happen and those statistics increase with firefighters. About one percent of breast cancers in the U.S. occur in men. The lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000 in U.S. men. In 2013, it is estimated there will be 2,240 new cases of male breast cancer and 410 male breast cancer deaths.
“Fire fighters are motivated to get involved for many reasons, and often it’s because they have been personally affected by the disease,” says Eric Ruettinger a fire fighter with the Colorado Springs Fire Department and a Vice President with IAFF Local 5 “We are supporting breast cancer awareness and prevention activities so that no breast cancer patient goes without life-saving treatments or having hope for a cure.”
Your Colorado Springs fire fighters encourage everyone in our community to participate in cancer awareness and prevention activities.