Canadian firefighters prepare for Movember

October 13, 2015
Written by The Movember Foundation
Movember is almost upon us, the month formerly known as November, which is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men's faces around the world, all in the name of men's health. During Movember Canadians band together in teams within their industry to create a network challenge at Movember.com. These networks create a fun and competitive environment that showcases the collective achievement of the industry while raising awareness and funds for men's health, particularly prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity. To date, $175 million has been raised in Canada.

Oct. 13, 2015, Toronto - In 2014, the Toronto Fire Services was a part of Movember's Great Canadian Fire Challenge Network with 86 members. Led by acting captain of Toronto Fire Services and Mo Bro Gordon Chabot, the team raised $13,882, and had fun doin' good with fundraising activities that included direct donations, an annual challenge between Toronto Fire and Toronto Police, T-shirt sales and a shave-off party.

"Movember is effective, fun and impactful. It also supports causes that affect many firefighters," said Gordon Chabot, team captain of Toronto Fire Prevention. "Emergency responders have a stressful job, which affect both our physical and mental health. Growing moustaches together helps strengthen our bonds and gives us the opportunity to work together to make sure all men take better care of themselves."

Regina Professional Firefighters were also a part of Movember's Great Canadian Fire Challenge with 75 team members.

"For firefighters, getting involved in Movember is really a no-brainer. The hazards we are exposed to throughout our careers put us at a higher risk for getting prostate cancer (and other cancers) than the general public," said Mark Moroz, team captain for Regina Professional Firefighters. "We also experience a high level of stress over our careers and some of the emergencies we attend stay with us forever. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a real issue facing our nation's first responders, so it just makes sense for us to be a part of such an amazing charity tackling these tough issues. And finally, like fire fighting, Movember mixes serious business with a sense of humour, so we rock our cancer-fighting/mental-health awareness lip caterpillars with a smile and style!"

This year, the Movember Foundation is adding another way to champion men's health with the addition of MOVE – a 30-day fitness challenge to promote physical activity. For Mo Sistas, MOVE is a way to do something tangible in the name of men's health, and for Mo Bros it's a new challenge. Grow your Mo, MOVE, or take things to the next level and do both.

"It's exciting that there is going to officially be a new way to participate in Movember this year," Chabot said. "Personally, I'll commit to running with my dog, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and take my kids swimming every weekend. As a team, we plan to organize some MOVE events and a tug-of-war vs. Toronto Police and an axe-throwing competition."

"Physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle are imperative for firefighters," said Moroz. "I'd love to incorporate a move-for-MO session for our members that would encourage everyone to get active for at least 30 minutes while on shift and at home."

Chabot and Moroz chose to captain their teams because they felt it was important to encourage an enjoyable way to promote men's health within the fire department.

Movember provides a chance to bring health, humour and camaraderie into the workplace and to the community. The moustache is a great conversation starter and a great way to bring firefighters together.

From Movember 1, Mo Bros start clean-shaven and groom their way to a fine moustache. Mo Bros and Mo Sistas can also commit to MOVE with the 30-day fitness challenge.

"The main thing is to have fun and do good," Chabot said.

THE RULES
  1. Once registered at Movember.com each Mo Bro must begin Movember 1 with a clean-shaven face.
  2. Mo Bro's and Mo Sistas can also commit to the MOVE challenge and MOVE everyday of Movember.
  3. For the entire month of Movember each Mo Bro must grow and groom a moustache.
  4. Don't fake it. No beards, no goatees, no fake moustaches.
  5. Use the power of the moustache to create conversations about men's health and to raise funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health.

Get involved. Sign up at Movember.com today.

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