Lifestyle

Sexy firefighter flexes for charity calendar

South King Fire and Rescue firefighter Brian Moore, 30, bared his physique in an annual firefighter calendar that supports burn research. - Neal McNamara, The Mirror
South King Fire and Rescue firefighter Brian Moore, 30, bared his physique in an annual firefighter calendar that supports burn research.
— image credit: Neal McNamara, The Mirror

Brian Moore likes to stay physically fit, anyway.

So why not pose for a calendar wearing nothing but a pair of bunker pants, a firefighter’s helmet and a sultry gaze? After all, it’s for a good cause.

Moore, a 3 ½-year veteran firefighter for South King Fire and Rescue, is one of 29 hunks and babes who appear in the 2011 Washington Firefighters Calendar. It’s a 12-month tour of some of the state’s hottest heroes, and proceeds go to the Washington State Council for Firefighters Burn Foundation.

Moore is on tour supporting the calendar. He appeared at The Commons Mall last Saturday and will be at the Northwest Women’s Show on March 4 at Qwest Field. Look for him to warm you up next winter: he’s Mr. December.

“It’s cool,” he said of the prospect of being ogled to support the Burn Foundation. “It’s a little surreal to go into Barnes and Noble and see yourself on a calendar.

“Other than that, it’s not a big deal as far as the exposure. I’m happy to help out the Burn Foundation.”

But such is a typical response from Moore, 30, who is generally calm and collected. Fresh off returning from the scene of a medical emergency (chest pains), he answered questions about the experience of being in the calendar. He was not nervous during the photo shoot, but he did work out a little extra prior to the shoot and, yes, he is single.

Moore got into the calendar by competing in a contest held by the Burn Foundation. Firefighters with aspirations to be in the calendar parade themselves in front of judges in a Miss America-esque pageant and show off their brawn, brains and personality. For that, he was nervous.

“I was super nervous,” he said.

Formerly a draughtsman, the Kitsap native had a boyhood dream to be a firefighter. He had a roommate who urged him to try it out. He used to work in the Central Kitsap fire department, but got sidelined by an injury. After he recovered, he got a job at South King and works out of Station 62 on 1st Avenue South.

Does he approve of the way the calendar raises money? It’s just another gimmick for a good cause, he said, like when firefighters stand in the street holding out their boots to raise money for Jerry’s Kids.

Technology killing calendars

The annual firefighters calendar got its start in 1996. Rod Heivilin heads up the Burn Foundation and has been putting the calendar together since at least 2000. The first year it was just a single sheet poster with pictures of firefighters hovering around the 12 months.

“I thought it was a good idea,” he said. “It was being in New York to some degree of success.”

He’s proud of the calendar, which features more than just human eye candy. Past calendars have had shots of fires, or firehouse coincidences like a pair of twins who work together. Heivilin recalls a comment made by a newspaper article that the calendar is “more like a Happy Meal than a plate of beefcake.”

At its peak around 2003, the calendar was a rippling, glistening success. Proceeds bulged in excess of $200,000, including money raised from events surrounding the calendar. That money went to support burn research at Harborview Medical Center.

The program expanded to include sending child burn victims to summer camp; smoke detectors were purchased and donated to fire departments that would install them free in low-income and senior housing.

The calendar is definitely successful, Heivilin said — he gets orders from around the country and around the world. People even buy past editions, he said, probably not for scheduling purposes. But print’s biggest enemy, the Internet, has taken a toll on the calendar. Heivelin said that in recent years, proceeds are down in the $60,000 to $80,000 range.

“Wall calendars, period, have declined in sales. Everyone has got them on cell phones or computers,” he said.

They’re looking to go online with the calendar and perhaps create a web application. He has also changed the format of how firefighters are selected. Instead of one big contest, he’s going to have two or three smaller ones. People can bid to be the lucky judges to pick next year’s beauties. For now, the calendar, plus T-shirts and posters, are available at www.firefightercalendar.org.

“Personality, for me, is one of the highest requirement,” he said of picking pinups. “It helps if they look good, but they’ve got to be a good spokesperson for the Burn Foundation; they need to be able to meet all ages and conduct themselves well.”

Sure it’s the uniform …

Moore said that the promotional events for the calendar are fun, and sometimes there’s some flirting. When asked if anyone ever requests a date, he says, “No.”

“Well,” he reflects, “it happens sometimes. It’s all kind of fun and flirtatious. I wouldn’t say it’s anything serious.”

But what is it about firefighters that’s so attractive? Why are firefighters, along with nurses, maids and the occasional NFL referee so objectified?

“A girl,” Moore said, “likes a guy in a uniform.”

Upcoming events

These are events at which the firefighters will appear and autograph the calendars:

March 4, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Northwest Women’s Show, Qwest Field Event Center. Events also run March 5 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and March 6 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at the same location. Another event runs March 10, 9 p.m. to midnight, Clearwater Casino.

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