NKF&R shaves heads for cancer, bone marrow awareness

A large contingent of North Kitsap Fire & Rescue firefighters have shaved their heads in a different twist on the “No Shave November” movement.

The annual event takes place to spark conversation about the impacts of cancer and the importance of bone marrow matches (www.bethematch.org) in successful treatment for many forms of the disease.

Cancer affects firefighters at much higher rates than the general population, and several NKF&R members have been impacted, a news release from the department says. The public is encouraged to support the firefighters efforts by visiting no-shave.org/team/north-kitsap-fire-rescue.

The No Shave website says it became a fundraiser for cancer-fighting charities in 2009. Participants let their facial hair grow throughout the month and donate what they would have spent on grooming.

This is the first year that NKF&R firefighters have mounted an organized effort, states the release. Since many already have mustaches (beards are prohibited because they interfere with the seal of masks for self-contained breathing apparatus used in firefighting), the NKF&R crew decided that they couldn’t make a strong enough statement with a traditional “no shave” month. They opted instead to shave their heads. Recently, about 15 of the firefighters went under the clippers.