LONG BEACH, NY– The volunteer arm of the Long Beach fire department has been taking heat over a fundraising calendar it published of barely-clothed models, some provocatively garbed in firefighter gear and posing with department equipment as props.
City officials said the glossy, 14-page calendar showed poor judgment, and fire department officials were ordered to stop selling the calendars. It was unclear how many had been printed or sold.
“The production reflects a lapse of judgment that failed to consider the sensitivities of the community and certain good common sense,” said Long Beach City Manager Charles Theofan.
Theofan said that no one in the city administration knew about the calendar until he was questioned about it by a Newsday reporter.
The calendar was produced by the volunteer branch of the fire department—which is separate from the paid force. However, he said the chief of the combined department, Marco Passaro, told him he had approved the fundraiser.
Passaro declined to comment for this story. Theofan said he was satisfied there would not be a recurrence.
He said that there are no plans to discipline anyone for the calendar.
Web grab from MY Space page, showing images from a calendar, produced as a fundraiser for the Long Beach Fire Department. (Newsday)
December page of a 2008 calendar, featuring semi-nude female models using the Long Beach Fire Dept. equipment for erotic poses. The volunteer members of the Long Beach fire department, with the approval of the fire chief, produced this calendar as a fundraiser
The City of Long Beach supplies the volunteers with everything they need, including trucks, equipment and gear. All independently raised funds are used at the Chief’s discretion and go toward items such as dinners and T-shirts, city officials said.
Cover of a 2008 calendar, featuring semi-nude female models using the Long Beach Fire Dept. equipment in erotic poses. The volunteer members of the Long Beach fire department, with the approval of the fire chief, produced this calendar as a fundraiser
In one of the photos, the model for February clad in a fire-engine red lingerie top and bottom and stilettos leans against a fire truck with the words: West End Tower Ladder across the side.
In five other months, the women are topless except for artfully placed firemen’s suspenders.
One volunteer firefighter from Tower Ladder 74 uploaded the photos to his MySpace page. The photos have since been removed. He could not be reached for comment.