For the third consecutive year, the Anne Arundel County Professional Firefighters are increasing awareness and raising funds for men’s health issues. During the month of April, firefighters have been authorized to wear custom designed tee shirts in place of the standard button down and polo shirts as their regular duty uniform.
This is part of a unique awareness campaign initiated by one of the members of the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local 1563. In addition to building awareness through wearing the custom shirt, the Local has designated the Anne Arundel Medical Center’s DeCesaris Cancer Institute to receive the proceeds from the sales of the shirts to be used for prostate and testicular cancer research and treatment. The Local has donated $16,000 to local cancer centers through the sale of the men’s health shirts the previous two years.
The tee shirt features an original design created by one of our members, which includes a two color mustache ribbon that represents both prostate cancer and testicular cancer awareness. It is available for sale to the general public through the Local’s website www.iafflocal1563.org.
IAFF Local 1563 member Mike Hertz, whose idea started the campaign, said, “Firefighters are twice as likely to develop various forms of cancer due to the hazards associated with our occupation. This campaign is a positive step to raise awareness and funds.”
The men’s health awareness campaign complements a similar breast cancer awareness campaign which occurs each October. Members of the Local have been authorized to wear custom pink shirts to raise breast cancer awareness during October since 2011, with proceeds being donated to local cancer centers for breast cancer research and treatment.