The Australian Firefighters are back, hunky as ever and still doing their part to help animals in need.
The annual Australian Firefighters Calendar — now celebrating its 30th year — has just released their 2023 edition, once again giving animal lovers (and firefighter lovers) a chance to support many worthy causes.
The calendar goes viral every year, and it’s not hard to imagine why: many of the photos include not just a shirtless and in-shape firefighter, but also an adorable animal:
The calendars come in many different editions, depending on your taste, but according to People the most popular is the “mixed animal” edition, which includes animals like koalas, lambs and ducklings.
They also offer editions for horses, cats and dogs. (You can also just opt for the “classic calendar” or limited edition “denim calendar” if these adorable pets distract you from the abs, but we prefer the animals.)
But the animals aren’t just props — the firefighters are raising money for a number of charities, including many animal causes.
According to Bored Panda, the dog calendar features rescue dogs from Safe Haven Animal Rescue and All Breeds Canine rescue, and the cat models are all from Best Friends Felines. The firefighters hope to encourage people to adopt from these organizations.
The horses are therapy horses from Healing Hooves, shedding some light on the good therapy horses do for people in need.
And there’s also the koala, a beloved icon of Australian wildlife, that always graces the cover of the mixed animals edition. The koala is an endangered species which took a devastating toll during the 2020 wildfires.
“[Local refuge charities] will bring dogs, puppies, kittens and cats,” Rogers told Bored Panda in 2020. “We also use therapy horses who have helped autistic children and adults suffering from mental illness.”
“And we use Australian Wildlife from the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary. Ducklings, alpacas, goats, and lams, we have every animal you can think of at the photoshoot.”
Sometimes, the animals even go home with the firefighters: “We have had firefighters adopt puppies and kittens from the photoshoot,” Rogers added.
Proceeds from the calendars will go to a number of charities, including many that benefit pets and wildlife. Causes include the Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital, Australian Seabird Rescue, Fauna Rescue of SA, Healing Hooves, Native Animal Rescue, Wildcare Inc, Safe Haven Animal Rescue, Best Friends Felines, and All Breed Canine Rescue Inc.
Other charities include the Council of Australian Volunteer Fire Associations, the Kids With Cancer Foundation, as well as the US charity Rescue Rebuild, which recruits volunteers to renovate animal shelters, domestic violence shelters and homeless shelters.
While firefighters are usually in good shape, the ones seen in the calendar work hard to build up a model physique before the photoshoots.
“To be calendar fit takes months of diet and exercise,” project director David Rogers told Bored Panda. “The firefighters really need to get into the best possible shape they can for the calendar photo shoot, because to get a photo in the calendar is extremely competitive.”
But all those crunches are worth it: over the calendar’s 30 year history, they have raised over three million dollars for charities.
Thank you to these firefighters for once again going all out to raise money for so many worthy causes, with a little help from their animal friends.
You can buy a calendar by visiting their website. Please share this story with someone who would love one of these calendars!