Chicago firefighters create unique fundraising campaign

A group of Chicago firefighters have come up with a unique fundraising campaign to keep you hot all year round!

They are posing with their fire retardant pants, axes, hoses, hats… and nothing more.  

"We have to stay in physically fit condition anyway, why not use the calendar as a motivator," said Henry Mendez, a Chicago firefighter EMT.  

He’s one of ten firefighters who posed in the 2022 "Ignite the Spirit" calendar.   

They are the few, but brave, who dared to pose in next to nothing for charity.  

"You get them to walk into a burning building, but you can't get them to put themselves out there for a charitable cause sometimes," said Joe Warnke, also a Chicago firefighter EMT.   

The money raised from the sale of the calendars will benefit a fund for firefighters in need. 

It was created by a Chicago firefighter who helped with 9-11 recovery efforts, at Ground Zero.  

"He wanted to have something so that firefighters…have something to fall back on….to be there for each other, to be there for our brothers and sisters," said Mendez.  


The fund has aided firefighters with sick children or who are battling cancer.  

"We responded to a fire up on the Northwest side, looked like it was going to be a total loss.  As we're putting it out, we're pulling ceiling and emptying out a closet.  I see these Chicago fire department uniform shirts flying past us, and I'm saying this is one of our guys," said Warnke.  

The fund provided that firefighter and his family with clothing and a hotel room.

"There's a lot that they do behind the scenes to help people.  We all support each other on the fire ground all the time, but also when we're not at work too.  We're a big family," said Karna Nelson, a firefighter EMT. 

The calendars are available on  They are $10 plus shipping.