Hot pink fire truck makes its debut in Vero Beach

VERO BEACH — The Fire Girls of Indian River County are doing their part to turn pink into the county’s hottest must-have color. Their “We Care to Wear Pink” tee-shirts have already generated sales and attention all over town, but Saturday morning’s Pink Fire Truck Dedication took pink to a whole new level.

No longer fiery red, the sizzling hot pink fire truck was artfully repainted by Flo Ursulean, an Indian River County firefighter and owner of the Firehouse Garage in Sebastian. Ursulean and his employees took up the cause when they learned of the efforts of the Fire Girls.

Although everything still functions, the 45-year-old fire truck is retired from active duty and will be used solely as an attention-getter at various events – and there’s no question it will get some considerable notice.

The core group of Fire Girls, Melinda Judson, Cynthia Chisholm, Fire Medic Barbara Grass, Stacy Gabbard and Erin Graul, formed in March, 2011 to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) annual fundraising walk. Firefighter wives and active members of Indian River Fire Rescue, they hope to eventually get all firefighters and spouses involved.

“We’re bringing it fire style,” said Grass of plans the team has made for the walk.

“This is exciting; it will be a main attraction on the walk,” said Cindy Corbin, American Cancer Society’s new area executive director. “I think this is a wonderful way to tie the community together. It’s amazing what a passionate group can do; it’s fueled by their passion. They want to make a difference and they have fun doing it. We certainly appreciate their contribution to the fight against breast cancer.”

Fire Chief John King welcomed the gathering saying the day was the first week of fall, the first day of October and the first day for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

As the doors to Fire Rescue Station 2 lifted, the bright pink Engine 343 made its appearance to applause and cheers from the crowd.

“I couldn’t think of a better way than to kick off breast cancer awareness with a pink fire truck,” said spokesperson Cynthia Chisholm. “We made it our mission to turn Indian River County pink.”

To date, through tee-shirt sales and a fashion show they held this spring at Costa d’Este, the Fire Girls have contributed $5,000 to the American Cancer Society.

“I’m not a man of words,” said Ursulean after being presented with a plaque for his support. “We just wanted to spread the word that we care.”

Taking turns at the podium, the Fire Girls also recognized Vero Radiology, which has sold more than 200 tee- shirts at their facility, and the support of the Vero Beach Firefighters Association, the Vero Beach Volunteer Fire Department, Indian River County Fire Rescue and Chief King.

The good-as-gold little ones got their turn at the conclusion of the ceremony, enjoying pink lemonade and cookies, donning pint-sized firemen’s hats and getting tours of the firehouse.

It is not too late to join the Fire Girls pink team at the Saturday, October 15 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) Walk at the Sebastian River Medical Center.

To join them call (772) 532-4042 or visit



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