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Con Fire Rolls Out Project Pink Wheels

Patch logo Patch 10/23/2020 Maggie Fusek
a fire truck parked in a parking lot: Project Pink Wheels was unveiled Wednesday by the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. © Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Project Pink Wheels was unveiled Wednesday by the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA — The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District introduced the newest addition to its fleet of fire engines: a pink one designed to honor and support community members touched by cancer.

In Contra Costa County alone, there were more than 27,000 new cases of cancer between 2012 and 2016 — 427 new cases for every 100,000 residents — the Centers for Disease Control reported.

"Tragically, during this period, more than 9,000 people died of cancer in the county," Con Fire Spokesman Steve Hill said. "Cancer affects not only the patient directly; it also has life-long effects on families and friends. We understand cancer as it is the leading cause of death among active and retired firefighters here and around the nation."

In recognition of these impacts, Con Fire, in conjunction with United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230, launched Project Pink Wheels.

Project Pink Wheels is embodied in the pink fire engine – Engine Pink — which community members may see driving the streets of Contra Costa. The engine will also have a presence at cancer treatment facilities, hospitals and for public events such as health fairs, community festivals, parades, cancer events and other special requests.

"While pink is typically symbolic of breast cancer, the goal of Project Pink Wheels is to include all cancers," Hill said. "This engine is designed to be a visible symbol to our local cancer warriors — current, recovered and passed —that we honor their strength and support their fight."

The engine serves as a mobile honorarium bearing the names of cancer warriors within the communities Con Fire serves. Survivors or family members of past fighters can add names to the engine.

For those in cancer treatment, the Project Pink Wheels Engine is available to take them to their first or final treatment.

Any resident affected by cancer in Local 1230 service areas — Antioch, Bay Point, Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Clayton, Clyde, Concord, Discovery Bay, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Hercules, Knightsen, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Orinda, Pacheco, Pinole, Pittsburgh, Pleasant Hill, Rodeo, San Pablo and Walnut Creek — can request Pink Wheels transportation.

To add a name to the engine or request transportation, send an email to Fire Capt. Chris Leimpeter at contracostapink@yahoo.com.

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