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Firefighters sign custom calendars

Donald Jackson, left, firefighter and calendar project coordinator and Antonio Atkins, center, prepare to sign the Albany Fire Department’s custom 2014 Calendars at the Albany Mall. Jackson’s nephew, Quintavian Andrus is helping out. Thirteen members of the Albany Fire Department posed for the calendar and now are selling them to benefit the American Red Cross. (Staff photo: Jim West)

Donald Jackson, left, firefighter and calendar project coordinator and Antonio Atkins, center, prepare to sign the Albany Fire Department’s custom 2014 Calendars at the Albany Mall. Jackson’s nephew, Quintavian Andrus is helping out. Thirteen members of the Albany Fire Department posed for the calendar and now are selling them to benefit the American Red Cross. (Staff photo: Jim West)

ALBANY — Firefighters were hanging out at the Albany Mall Saturday, but they weren’t there to shop — or even to fight a fire. Instead, they were signing and selling custom calendars to raise money for a good cause. Eleven male and two female members of the Albany Fire Department are featured in the 2014 version of their really “hot” product.

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

Inside the document are featured individual team members, one to a month in various locations and poses. Sprinkled through the days are fire safety tips and reminders when to check your smoke detectors. The calendars are offered for $10 each, with the proceeds benefiting the Flint River chapter of the American Red Cross.

“When we go to a house fire and people get displaced, the Red Cross steps in and puts them up for a couple of days till they can get things situated,” said Donald Jackson, firefighter and coordinator of the calendar project. “We’d like to help them out and make a difference for the community.”

Jackson said the calendar project started in 2003 but “didn’t do that great” for the first couple of years. A series of public signings by calendar firefighters has helped make the project successful, Jackson said.