In addition to battling fires, firefighters in Dearborn Heights are hard at work these days trying to quell something that’s hitting them very close to home: cancer.
The department launched a “Movember” fundraising campaign that encourages mustache growth to raise awareness of men’s health issues. Firefighters are selling shirts and hats featuring a specially designed logo featuring caricatures of two members of Local 1355 of the Dearborn Heights Professional Firefighters Union.
One of these faces belongs to Lieutenant James Ursitti. He said the decision to put down their shavers and electric razors was easy.
“Cancer rates among firefighters are extremely high compared to the general public,” he said. “So this year in particular it hit the high ground here. One of our members got cancer and it spread. We’re trying hard to raise money for him and his family as they’re going through tough times right now. difficult moments. “
Firefighters sell short-sleeved and long-sleeved t-shirts for youth and adults with the likenesses of Ursitti’s face and that of gas station attendant Michael Gallmeyer. Baseball caps and beanies emblazoned with an American flag-themed mustache are also on public sale. All items are $20 except baseball caps, which are $25.
The order deadline is October 7 and items will be available for pick-up on or after November 1 at Department Headquarters, 1999 N. Beech Daly, or Station 1 at 4500 S. Telegraph.
Other area firefighters knew about the reason for the Dearborn Heights campaign and gave him money. Other fundraisers could be undertaken as the situation warrants, Ursitti added.
Gallmeyer is credited with the recent facial hair trend at the department, sporting a long handlebar mustache that has spread among other firefighters.
“His is way better than my starter mustache,” Ursitti joked.
For more information on the “Movember” fundraiser, visit the Dearborn Heights Firefighters Facebook page or https://bit.ly/3RhdTHP.