Monarch Fire Protection District board members have banned firefighters from wearing pink T-shirts as part of an annual fundraiser department members participate in during Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Firefighters have worn the shirts, colored in the hue showing solidarity with breast cancer survivors and patients, for the past four years, but now two board members say the shirts could cause confusion among members of the public.
“Firefighters are selling these around the community to businesses and whatever,” board member Jane Cunningham was quoted as saying in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “If they get called to a home, how is the person to ID them as a Monarch emergency firefighter as opposed to a member of the public?”
Board president Robin Harris joined Cunningham in the decision to ban the shirts. They also said they had not received any information from firefighters about the fundraiser, which they called unprofessional. Board member Steve Swyers disagreed with the ban.
Capt. Andy Stecko, shop steward for the Monarch firefighters union, told KMOV that politics is behind the move.
"It's an anti-firefighter agenda, it's an anti-union agenda," he told the news station.
The Chesterfield-based fire protection district also serves parts of Ballwin, Clarkson Valley, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights and Wildwood, as well as unincorporated St. Louis County. The newspaper said Monarch firefighters have raised more than $6,000 and have donated it to local charities.
Do you agree with the Monarch board's decision? Do you think the pink T-shirts could confuse the public? Is it a big deal in your view? Share your comments below.