David Dodd 2:33 a.m., May 19
Hillcrest Firefighters Calendar Raises Entire Cost of Station Redesign
PEEKING THROUGH THE WINDOW, CORNER OF NINTH AND UNIVERSITY - Through a series of one-time fixes and creative accounting measures, Strong Mayor Sanders and the San Diego City Council were able to avoid continuing the "brownout" policy that saw San Diego County fire services cut to the bone in 2010. But as the city's fiscal woes continues to pile up, individual stations are being called upon to conduct their own fundraising measures for "projects that have as their chief beneficiaries this or that particular station as opposed to the entire force," said SDFD spokesman Jorge "Backdraft" Ramos. "Firefighter calendars, which in the past have proven valuable in the effort to raise funds for charity, should now be considered an integral part of an individual station's budgetary plans."
Apparently, the team at Hillcrest's No. 5 station were listening. Though it is only June of 2011, their 2012 calendar, entitled, "Is It Hot In Here Or Is It Just Me?" has already sold 200,000 copies, thus enabling the station to pay for its own redesign, a project recently debated by the City Council. "Some issues were raised during the Council debate about the potential cost of the projected Roman-bath-style locker room and the in-house day spa," granted Ramos. "But thanks to the success of 'Is it Hot in Here,' the boys of No. 5 can have it any way they want it."
Ramos granted that other stations' calendars have not been quite as lucrative. "Our sales tracking efforts have shown that 'Is It Hot In Here' has, remarkably, managed to break through the so-called 'Beefcake Barrier,' which generally limits the appeal of these sorts of calendars to women. Somehow, the team at No. 5 has managed to capture both the fit and trim side of firefighting so admired by the ladies and the tough, heroic side of the business that arouses admiration in men. Truly, a model for us all."
Pictured: The January photographs for the 2012 Hillcrest and Chula Vista Firefighter Calendars. Interestingly, the two photographs feature identical captions: "After a hard day of keeping San Diegans safe, the team relaxes and gets comfortable."