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Citrus Firefighters save lives in more ways than one

They raise money each year to help families affected by breast cancer.

INVERNESS, Fla. — Firefighters save lives. It's just part of the job. Responding to fires and emergencies and doing everything they can to save a life. But the firefighters in Citrus County are taking that a step further, by raising money every October to do even more for their neighbors.

It started six years ago, selling T-shirts during October to raise money to help people in the community affected by breast cancer. 

Vincent Lanzarone is the Public Information Officer for the Citrus Firefighters IAFF Local 4562. "We have a large outpouring of support from the citizens and we just want to show that we appreciate them, we appreciate the support that they give us on a daily basis and it's the least we can do."

Firefighters in Citrus County who put their lives on the line each day, still felt like they could do more. The money from last year's T-shirt sales will provide 38 uninsured women with what could be a lifesaving mammogram. "We're able to help those that are uninsured that may be a little reluctant to go get a mammogram. That way it takes the pressure off of them and they'll go ahead and take that first step and get checked."

Dr. Stephen Garrison is a diagnostic radiologist at Citrus Memorial Hospital. "And one of those women might be someone who has a cancer that we can find early and if we find it early we can offer them treatment and it will be easier treatment."

He says mammograms can save lives. "Mammography is the only proven test to decrease mortality from breast cancer, so by providing the opportunity for women to get screening mammography, it just increases that chance that we would find something before it causes major harm to the patient."

This year's T-shirts are on sale all month and the firefighters are hoping to raise even more money to provide even more mammograms next year. 

You can buy the t-shirts at Tim's Barber Room in Inverness and the State Farm Insurance offices in Homosassa and Crystal River. 

Uninsured women in Citrus County can schedule an appointment for a mammogram by calling 877-351-7012.

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