Township fire department goes pink

ALPENA – The Alpena Township Fire Department will be trading in its blue uniforms for a different color during October – pink. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and for the second year in a row all the department employees are doning pink shirts to raise awareness and participate in the national campaign against cancer.

“Many departments participate,” Capt. Ken Piper said. “They all find different ways to get on board. These T-shirts are our uniform for the month.”

The pink shirts also are available for purchase at both the south side and north side township fire departments for $17, and the money raised will be donated to local cancer organizations to help offset costs.

“The T-shirts are purchased and printed locally,” Piper said. “All the proceeds from the sale will stay local.”

The shirts also will be for sale at the annual township fire department open house this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The south and north side township fire departments will be open for visitors to take a look at each fire station and the equipment emergency workers use everyday on the job.

“We will have bouncy houses and our smoke house also will be operating for the kids,” Piper said. “The smoke house is a simulated room that fills with non-toxic smoke and a firefighter sits inside with the kids to show them the proper safety procedures in a fire. Smoke alarms go off and the kids learn what to do in that situation.”

Saturday is the department’s kickoff for Fire Prevention Week which runs Oct. 6-12.

“People can come get a better idea of what the local fire department does,” Piper said. “They can see some of our capabilities and get to know some of the firefighters.”

Visitors to the stations are able to view a fire truck, ambulance, bunkers and look at equipment used by emergency workers.

“There will be hot dogs, and our pink T-shirts will be for sale during the station open house,” Piper said. “A lot of people don’t know all the services we help with. We have ambulance and fire service, but we also do transports, ice rescue and grass fires.”

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.