Project Pink Wheels a moving reminder of cancer’s effects

Project Pink Wheels a moving reminder of cancer’s effects

Project Pink Wheels a moving reminder of cancer’s effects
Names of cancer fighters  and families remembered on the pink fire engine for Project Pink Wheels. (Photos by Pete Cruz)

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY—Cancer affects so many in our community. In Contra Costa County, there was 27,000 new cancer cases from 2012 to 2016.

Because it’s the leading cause of death among active and retired firefighters, our fire district does annual cancer screenings for fire personnel. Cancer is very personnel to our community and the fire service.

To that end, the Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ConFire) has implemented Project Pink Wheels. More than six years in the making, the project is meant to be a symbol of hope for cancer patients and their families. It aims to show cancer patients that they are not alone in this fight.

Capt. Chris Leimpeter, whose wife is a cancer survivor, was one of the leads to make this project happen. I encourage you to visit the ConFire YouTube channel to hear the personal stories of our firefighters and their families that have survived and lived through cancer. They shared the challenges, hurt and struggle that anyone who has been touched by cancer faces.

ConFire has painted a reserve engine pink, with the pink cancer ribbon decals. While pink ribbons are typical of breast cancer, this is meant to bring awareness to all cancers. It is a rolling memorial to bring hope to the community. The upgrades on the engine were made possible by I.A.F.F. Local 1230.

Cancer fighters remembered

Cancer survivors will be able to add names to the engine, and the family members of past cancer fighters can add their loved one’s name in memory of their fight.

This engine will be available to take anyone to their first or last day of cancer treatment. It will be also be used for public health fairs, community festivals, parades, cancer events and other special requests. This access is for all of Local 1230’s service areas, which is not limited to ConFire, but extends to East County as well has Hercules, Rodeo, Moraga and Orinda.

To request Pink Wheels transportation or to add a name, please email Leimpeter at

You can follow Project Pink Wheels on projectpinkwheels Instagram page, Facebook at projectpinkwheels or visit the ConFire YouTube channel at