Berkshire firefighter Mike Dumas has announced plans to bring a touring pink fire engine to his home county after having spent three weeks this October decked in pink fire kit on an American tour as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month.
The experience was FF Dumas' second spell on the Pink Heals Tour, and he now hopes to start fundraising in his hometown of Hungerford to help launch the movement’s first international branch.
The member of Blue Watch at Newbury fire station said: "It’s such a selfless thing – that’s what got me interested. Pink Heals is love based. The initiative supports people, not causes, by changing how communities fundraise and directing money back into the community that raised it."
Pink Heals was launched in 2007 and has grown to have more than 40 branches in America, with 120 pink emergency service vehicles.
On FF Dumas' latest visit, which ended on Friday 24 October, he met eight-year-old Baylee Adkins in Richlands, North Carolina, who has been diagnosed with a brain and spinal tumour.
“She was amazed to meet the firefighters who had come to her town,” he added. “She said it was the best day of her life. This tour has been a really uplifting experience and quite emotional.”
FF DUmas joined Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service 10 years ago as a retained firefighter before becoming wholetime in 2009. He has pledged to bring Pink Heals to Berkshire and is putting together a fundraising event ahead of registering a charity in the UK.
He concluded: “It’s been a long and slow process but I’m looking to get a vehicle which can be sprayed pink. Initially this will be for Berkshire, but as it grows we would look to set up branches in every county in the UK.”