BANGOR, Maine - After a three-year hiatus, public demand has spurred Bangor area firefighters and paramedics to show some skin for the 2009 Hose 5 Fire Museum charity calendar.
Local photographer Michael York spent time on Monday taking photos of the local models, 11 men and one woman, for the calendar, which is expected to be available for sale next month.
Organizer and firefighter-paramedic Nate Snyder, an 18-year veteran firefighter, said Monday that the funds would be used to purchase a new heating system for the museum.
“The boiler is going,” he said. “It’ s on its last leg. We’ re hoping to put in a new geothermal system or a heat pump. We want to replace the boiler so we can heat the system efficiently.”
The museum, which is located on State Street, has exhibits on firefighting history.
Snyder has been with the Bangor Fire Department for eight years, has posed for the calendar twice and will be shirtless in the new calendar.
“I have my shirt off and at least two other guys have their shirts off,” he said.
The calendar also features a couple of “older” firefighters and a female firefighter to appeal to calendar users of all ages and genders, Snyder said.
When he approached his co-workers about being in the calendar, “they all say no,” Snyder said, saying they would rather face a raging blaze than stand in front of a camera.
“I have to talk them into it pretty much,” he said. “Then getting them to show up is a different story.”
The new calendar will be the fifth time the Bangor firefighters have posed to raise money for the museum. The first four calendars raised close to $100,000, most of which went into repairing the building’ s roof and doing renovations in the basement.
The museum operates on funds provided by an annual pancake breakfast, private donations and the calendar. There is a possibility of a poker tournament this year, Snyder said.
York has photographed every calendar since the original 2000 edition, and this year is trying something new under Snyder’ s direction. The firefighter is describing the photographs as “artistic shots.”
“They’ re really interesting and different for the calendar,” he said. “It’ s all about the style” this time around.
Seven models were photographed on Monday, some were done last week, and two more will be completed next week.
The calendars are expected to go on sale by the time the American Folk Festival music starts on Aug. 22. They will cost $12.95, and also will be available at several Bangor-area stores.