Firefighter calendar benefits charity

ALBANY — Local firefighters have shed a little of their standard gear to raise some money for a worthy cause.

Eleven male and two female members of the Albany Fire Department are featured in the 2014 version of their upcoming firefighters calendar.

Profits from calendar sales will benefit the Flint River Chapter of the American Red Cross, said Donald Jackson, firefighter and calendar coordinator.

The group image on the calendar cover shows male firefighters dressed in their regulation gear — except for their shirts. The women are somewhat more reserved. All are posed before a bright red fire engine.

Inside are featured individual team members, one to a month in various locations and poses. Sprinkled through the days are fire safety tips and reminders for when to check your smoke detectors.

The original idea for a calendar surfaced in 2003, Jackson said, when other fire departments around the country were acting on the idea. Some of the guys thought it would be a good idea to raise money for charity. Jackson was a part of all that, but wasn’t coordinator.

“We did the first one and followed it up in 2004,” Jackson said. “But it didn’t do that great. Really, we lost money on the projects. I think the guys just lost interest in the idea.”

The calendar idea resurfaced last year, Jackson said. With Jackson as coordinator, things were moving a little quicker.

“We were having signings at the Albany Mall and at the east side Walmart,” Jackson said. “We were there to show the calendars and would sign them on the spot. Last year’s sales were great. It’s the support of our community that makes it happen.”

Jackson said most of their last batch of 1000 calendars were purchased by women, and very few were left unsold.

According to Jackson, the 2014 calendars will sell for $10 each and are expected to be available by the middle of next week. Calendars may be purchased at future signings or at the main fire station at 320 N. Jackson St.; Fire Station No. 6 at 2521 Meredyth Drive or Fire Station No. 7 at 200 Mock Road. For more information, call (229) 431-3266 or (229) 430-5191.