A nine-member Coon Rapids Fire Department shift is sporting moustaches this month.
The firefighters are taking part in the Movember Movement designed to raise awareness of men’s health issues like prostate and testicular cancer.
According to Capt. Tim Gilsrud, other members of the fire department have also been growing moustaches this month, but his shift is the only one in which all firefighters now have moustaches.
The moustache-growing project began Nov. 1 – all nine firefighters were clean shaven until then – and is scheduled to end Nov. 30.
“This is the first time in 45 years that I have had a moustache,” said Firefighter Chuck Fleury.
No decision has been made whether the firefighters will shave off their moustaches Dec. 1, Gilsrud said.
But if their wives/girlfriends have anything to say about it, they will, he said.
“My wife hates it,” Gilsrud said.
According to Gilsrud, men typically don’t talk about men’s health issues, like cancer, and the moustaches are designed to generate awareness of the diseases.
“Prostate cancer in men is more common than breast cancer in women,” Gilsrud said.
Besides Gilsrud and Fleury, the shift includes Justin Hite, Jake Schultze, Dan Bruneau, John Fick, Greg Wester, Greg Leciejewski and Jason Ploof.
According to the www.us.movember.com website, the Movember Movement is not only nationwide, but a worldwide effort to raise awareness and funds for men’s health initiatives, specifically prostate and testicular cancer.
The Mo Bros, as the website call the men who sprout moustaches in November, “effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November.”
“Through their actions and words, they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health,” the website states.
Peter Bodley is at firstname.lastname@example.org