UPDATE: This blog post has been updated to include comments from a representative from the Colorado Springs Professional Firefighters Local 5 union.
While Colorado Springs firefighters are taking their shirts off to sell calendars, the firefighters of Teller County are using their animal instincts.
The Teller County calendar features emergency responders posing with animals, including donkeys.
Sales of the calendar benefit the Teller County Regional Animal Shelter, a nonprofit, no-kill shelter.
“Every month features a local firefighter and either their dog or a rescue dog from the shelter, or, in the case of Cripple Creek firefighters, the city’s donkey herd,” Janet Brown said in a news release.
“That photo will run in June because of Donkey Derby Days,” she said.
Emergency responders from the Northeast Teller County Fire Protection District, Divide Fire, Cripple Creek Fire Department, Green Mountain Falls-Chipita Park Fire Protection District and Florissant Fire Protection District are featured in the calendar.
The calendars, which cost $15 each, are tax deductible.
They’re available at the animal shelter in Divide as well as the Edge Salon in Woodland Park, McQinty’s Wood Oven Pub, Animal Medical Center, Nuts N Bolts Needle Works and Treasures for All Seasons.
In Colorado Springs, past calendars have featured shirtless firefighters flexing their muscles.
The Colorado Springs Professional Firefighters Local 5 will be releasing their 2012 calendar on Wednesday.
“The release party will be kicking off at the Ritz downtown in the Elbow Room from 7-9pm. $20 gets you in and includes the newest calendar, a free drink and access to having the models sign your 2012 calendar!! Cash and credit cards will be accepted and don’t forget that they make great gifts for the holidays!” according to the firefighters’ website.
The calendar includes a woman, Christy Gaber Martinez.
Eric Ruettinger, who is on the executive board of the Colorado Springs Professional Firefighters, said local firefighters use the proceeds from the sale of the calendar to support the organization as well as to put on other fundraisers or donate money to other organizations throughout the year.
The calendar, now in its fourth year, generates about $15,000, he said.
Ruettinger, who called the photos in the calendar “classy,” said firefighters don’t have to show skin to be included.
“It’s one of those things where obviously we’re trying to promote that physical fitness feature. Is it a requirement? No. Have we done it that way since it started? Yes,” he said.
Ruettinger was almost speechless when told that emergency responders in Teller County posed with animals, including donkeys.
“Wow. I hadn’t heard about that. I guess it’ll be interesting to see,” he said. “I hope they make some money on it. I never thought about posing with animals or a herd of donkeys.”
If they’re able to make money on the calendar, “more power to them,” he said.
Brown said the Teller County calendar has brought in about $2,300 so far.