New firefighters calendar offers seasons to be cheerful
FIREMEN turned up the heat and stripped off for a good cause.
The yard at Cromwell Road fire station was transformed into a cat walk with more muscles than firefighting tackle.
Firemen's hoses were unrolled and water sprayed on crew members to get the best snap possible for a 2013 calendar.
All the photos were posed discretely and none of the firefighters was invited to do a "Full Monty".
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Organisers hope it will raise hundreds of pounds for The Grimsby and Cleethorpes branch of Motor Neurone Disease Association.
It has teamed up with Humberside Fire and Rescue Service to produce a tasteful calendar.
It was the inspiration of station clerk, Lisa Blow, who is chairman of the local association branch.
Lisa said: "We really needed to raise some much-needed funds for the branch and I wanted something that would really catch everyone's attention to help raise awareness, but also be fun.
"I work as a station clerk at Cromwell Road Fire Station, but my background is in marketing, print and PR so with the experience to be able to carry out the project, I approached the service's group manager, Nick Tharratt, with the idea."
She thanked all the companies that have helped with production including Andy of Amber Photography, in Lincoln, and Paula Denton of Grimsby, who put together the eye-catching artwork.
AR Printing of Grimsby printed the calendars and posters.
Lisa added: "Considering that no-one has any experience in front of the camera, the fire-fighters look really relaxed and they were all thrilled with the finished photos.
Nick said: "Our staff were happy to volunteer and assist one of our colleagues with such a worthy cause, that can make such a difference to those individuals and families affected by such a debilitating disease.
"We wish Lisa and the charity well in the sale of the calendar."
Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks the upper and lower motor neurones. This leads to weakness and wasting of muscles, causing increasing loss of mobility in the limbs, and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing. There is currently no effective treatment or cure for MND and most patients' life expectancy is between 18 months and five years after diagnosis.
The branch helps local patients, not only emotionally, but also financially with essential equipment that sometimes they would have to wait months for.
Lisa said: "MND patients don't have months to wait. Every day is precious and it is important to make that time as comfortable as possible for them."
St Andrew's Hospice will also benefit from any sales generated through their reception and events, receiving 25 per cent of each one.
Lisa said: "The hospice give the branch and MND patients a huge amount of care and support and it's one way of also giving them something back."
Mr July is crew manager Stuart MacFarlane, 37.
He said: "It is important to support charities if you can. It was not hard to stand in front of a camera.
"It is not unusual to have charities ask for our support because we are a team who will always give our support and help whenever we can."
He took several attempts to get the smile right for his shot walking topless through a shower of water from one of the hoses.
Mr May, Steve Critten is no stranger to helping charities, having completed a number of gruelling marathons for local good causes.
He is due to take part in the Great North Run on Sunday.
He said: "I like to support different charities, so each one gets the chance of having greater awareness of their cause."
The 14-page, colour calendars are priced at £8.
Payment for calendars at participating retail outlets can be accepted in cash or by cheque, made payable to MNDA.
Further enquiries can be sent via e-mail to email@example.com or 07824 506894.
Lisa is also operating a Calendar Club, where she takes a sample of the calendar with an order form into companies.
Keep updated on the Facebook page www.facebook.com/FireServiceCalendarMnd