Mentor fire truck “wrapped in lavender,” hundreds of tributes to comfort anyone affected by cancer

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MENTOR, Ohio — A fire department in Mentor isn’t just on call to protect their community. They’re also making sure no one feels alone in the fight against cancer.

Mentor Reserve Fire Truck Engine 1154, which was active for many years, is now known as “Comfort 54.”

Jerry Craddock, Mentor Reserve Fire Department public education specialist, said about one year ago, the department teamed up with local businesses to supply the materials and labor to “wrap” the truck in lavender.

Lavender is the universal color of all cancers.

“Cancer affects a lot of people in many different ways,” he said. “The color lavender represents all cancers so it just seemed really appropriate to try to connect with everybody.

The truck then began to travel to events all over the community, especially those related to health issues. Anyone who wanted was able to write a personal tribute on the truck as it made its way across NE Ohio.

The truck is now covered in messages.

Craddock says anyone can go to the main Mentor Fire Department, 8467 Civic Center Blvd., to sign the truck themselves.

“It’s an old engine, it’s 18 years old but it’s certainly served our community well, and now it has an added mission of comforting people,” said Craddock.

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