Cal Fire Riverside County

Firefighters Get Buzz Cuts for Captain Fighting Cancer

Kitty Alvarado Connect

Fire station 55 in Indian Wells was a buzz, literally, as dozens of Cal Fire Riverside County firefighters filed in to shave their heads to support one of their own.

“It’s amazing that my brothers and sisters come out and shave their heads just to see the outpour of love and the support that I‘m getting is just overwhelming,” says Captain Wendi Miller through tears.

Captain Miller, a more than 20 year veteran of the fire service became the captain of fire station 69 in Rancho Mirage in January 2018, that same month she was diagnosed with cancer.

“It has recently spread to the bone, lung, hip and brain,” she says adding she’s been off work fighting the good fight, “I’m going to fight hard and keep fighting.”

Cancer is a real danger not often talked about in the fire service.

“It’s hard as firefighters we’re in an increased risk everyday just everything that we’re exposed to … So when it strikes we band together and we take care of our own,” says Battalion Chief Bryan White.

Not only are they shaving their heads and fund raising, they’re also donating something precious to fire families: their vacation and sick time.

“When you run out of time you’re not able to work they basically move you off the books so what these leave credits will allow her to remain a firefighter and continue her health insurance throughout this battle,” says Chief White.

A battle they’re all in together.

“Thank you, I love you,” says Captain Miller with a huge smile.

This has turned into a challenge as fire stations are calling each other out to participate.

But we hope this turns into a community challenge too, so if you want to buzz your head and donate to help our Captain Miller, call someone out, it will help one of our heroes who has been there for us to fight on. Don’t forget to send us a picture to news@kmir.com.

To donate click here: Captain Wendi Miller Strong