BY: Mark E. Brady, Chief PIO, MEBrady@co.pg.md.us @PGFDPIO
Upper Marlboro, MD- After a successful campaign promoting “Breast Cancer Awareness” with a pink wrapped fire engine the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department expanded the campaign to include two new “painted” units. County Executive Rushern Baker and the Prince George’s County Council approved funding for the manufacture of two brand new pink-painted response units. There is no difference in cost to paint a unit pink vs. red or any other traditional color. One pink fire engine and one pink transport ambulance have been placed into full time service around the County.
With the advent of these new units in October of 2014, the Department conducted a social media ‘naming’ campaign to provide identity for the units. The 2014 Pierce engine was named “Courage”, while the 2014 Freightliner/Horton paramedic transport unit was named “Hope.” In addition to being painted pink and white, “Courage” sports a lavender reflective safety-stripe. Together the pink and lavender design represents cancer-awareness across the disease spectrum.
Over the past 4 years these pink units have been showcased at events across the region, including; the United States Congressional Women’s Softball tournament, The Redskins “think Pink” NFL game, the Naval District Washington 5k run, the NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo, Annapolis St Baldricks fundraisers, and various other events and conferences.
The units are always favorites and are routinely recognized as emotional boosters for cancer survivors and those now suffering from the disease.
The next phase of the “pink-team campaign” was allowing employees and volunteers to wear pink uniform shirts during the month of October (breast cancer awareness month), members voluntarily purchase their own shirts and sport them during emergency responses during October, further spreading the cancer awareness message across all 45 community-based fire/EMS stations.
Fire Chief Benjamin M. Barksdale said, “We have had 2 members succumb to occupational cancer over the past 2 years. Cancer awareness and prevention are important to our members and are now part of our everyday life in the Fire/EMS service. The message and mission of cancer awareness and research are especially poignant and personal for myself and the Department this year.”