Firefighters’ pink shirts connect with people

Firefighters are known as life savers, the men and women who rescue people in trouble, and, in a lighter vein, the first responders who are known for whipping up great dishes in the firehouse kitchen.

Now, Marietta’s firefighters have a new claim to fame. During October they decided to wear pink shirts to raise awareness about breast cancer, which has impacted many of the lives of Marietta Fire Department staffers.

The shirts drew so much attention that the firefighters decided to do more than just raise awareness. They sold replica shirts featuring the department’s name, union local numbers and the words “Hope” and “Strength.”

Fire Lt. Larry Bargeloh, who led the push to get the department to wear the shirts, in honor of his wife, Betty, who is a breast cancer survivor. However, the shirts sparked interest from the public. So firefighters put in a quick order for some additional pink shirts. They sold 200 shirts at $15 each.

On Friday, the fire department presented a $1,300 check to the Marietta Memorial Hospital Strecker Cancer Center, which goes into the hospital’s emergency fund to help patients in financial need.

Many of shirts were sold to hospital employees and family and friends of firefighters. Their support and display of compassion are greatly appreciated.

As for Marietta’s firefighters, we’re lucky to have these community-minded first responders on duty around the clock, 365 days a year.

Great job!