Less than a day after Lady's Island-St. Helena firefighters began wearing bright-pink T-shirts to promote breast cancer awareness, residents were asking to buy the shirts off their backs.
All of the department's 70 members plan to sport pink T-shirts under their uniforms and around the firehouse in October for national Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an event founded 27 years ago to urge women to get annual mammograms.
The shirts feature the district's logo and a firehouse twisted into the shape of a pink ribbon, which has come to symbolize the fight against breast cancer.
Despite the clamoring of some residents to buy the shirts, district officials said they opted not to sell them and are instead wearing them to encourage breast cancer awareness and honor local breast cancer survivors.
"People outside the department definitely want to buy them, but we didn't want to take money away from any other cause or event," district spokesman Lee Levesque said. "This is more about awareness. If even one woman sees a group of six guys wearing bright pink T-shirts on a fire truck and remembers to get to the doctor, this will have been a huge success."
As was the case last year, firefighters paid for the T-shirts themselves, Levesque said.
The local firefighters are joined in the effort by other departments across the country, as well as players, referees and coaches in the National Football League who will sporting pink hats, cleats, gloves and wristbands in games this month to show their support.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office near Birmingham, Ala., might have topped them all, though, when it unveiled a patrol car last week that had been painted pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.