Orlando, FL (October 5, 2018) – Hundreds of breast cancer patients, survivors, supporters, physicians and nurses gathered for the unveiling of pink-wrapped first-response vehicles before marching toward Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center in the annual Hope Hike in support of breast cancer awareness. The two events were brought together for the first time to bring greater attention to breast cancer.
Orange County Fire Rescue and Orlando Fire Department each had a rescue ambulance and a fire engine wrapped in pink. Orlando Police Department also joined in, wrapping one of their patrol vehicles in pink. Each of the agencies will sport the pink-wrapped vehicles throughout the month of October for breast cancer awareness. They were unveiled at Orlando Regional Medical Center in an event featuring proclamations from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs.
“As first responders, we have a first-hand understanding of how devastating cancer can be,” said Otto Drozd, chief, Orange County Fire Rescue. “Defeating breast cancer will take coordinated efforts to creatively increase awareness in our community. We’re excited to partner with Orlando Health for such an important cause.”
According to breastcancer.org, about one in eight U.S. women (about 12.4%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, and this year, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,960 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
“Cancer has long been one of the hazards we, as firefighters, deal with after years of exposure to contaminants from charred buildings,” said Roderick Williams, chief, Orlando Fire Department. “We’re taking steps to combat cancer in our industry and in the communities we serve, and we hope the second you lay eyes on our bright pink engine and rescue, that it is a constant reminder to take care of yourself, men and women alike.”
The newly unveiled pink first-response vehicles lead the way for attendees and their guests as they made their way to the Cancer Center in this year’s Hope Hike. Participants, including Orlando Fire Department and Orange County Fire Rescue team members, Orlando Health team members, physicians, nurses, patients and survivors, walked the nearly half-mile course to a celebration of breast cancer awareness.
“Improving the health of our community is one of our biggest priorities as an organization and bringing greater awareness to breast cancer is critical to achieving that,” said Mark Roh, M.D., president, Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center. “It’s an honor to work with Orlando Fire Department, Orange County Fire Rescue and Orlando Police Department in order to achieve that goal.”
About Orlando Health
Orlando Health is a $3.4 billion not-for-profit healthcare organization and a community-based network of hospitals, physician practices and outpatient care centers across Central Florida. The organization is home to the area’s only Level One Trauma Centers for adults and pediatrics, and is a statutory teaching hospital system that offers both specialty and community hospitals. More than 2,900 physicians have privileges across the system, which is also one of the area’s largest employers with more than 20,000 employees who serve more than 112,000 inpatients, more than 2.4 million outpatients, and more than 10,000 international patients each year. Additionally, Orlando Health provides more than $450 million in total value to the community in the form of charity care, community benefit programs and services, community building activities and more. Additional information can be found at www.orlandohealth.com.