Milwaukee Fire Department shows support for Hispanic community with new T-shirt

NOW: Milwaukee Fire Department shows support for Hispanic community with new T-shirt

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - The Milwaukee Fire Department is showing its support for the city's Hispanic community with a new T-shirt fundraiser.

The department is selling Hispanic themed heritage T-shirts for firefighters and the community to wear.

"I'm very honored and very proud to be a part of this project," Milwaukee firefighter Carlos Velazquez Sanchez said.

Velazquez Sanchez was tapped to design the T-shirt for the fire department.

"I wanted to make sure that everybody was represented, so the T-shirt has the flag of every country in the world that has Spanish as one of their official languages," Velazquez Sanchez said.

He said this project means a lot to him because it shows the Milwaukee Fire Department cares not only about the community, but its Hispanic firefighters, too.

"We have had so many more firefighters that are Hispanic or Spanish speakers in our department," Velazquez Sanchez said.

Proceeds from the sale of this shirt will be split between HPGM, an organization which provides Hispanic students with scholarships to further their education and ensure professional success, and Ignite The Spirit - Milwaukee, a 100% volunteer-driven nonprofit that supports firefighters and their families in times of need.

"We've been very fortunate to have the diversity that we have, but we recognize that we're not there. We have a lot work left to do," Milwaukee Fire Department Chief Aaron Lipski said.

Chief Lipski hopes these shirts may inspire some in the Hispanic community to join the fire department.

"If we can get that visual out in the community, where more people can go, 'Huh, that's something that relates directly to me,' it builds a comfort level and hopefully sends a welcoming message of, 'this is your fire department...come on and help out and be a part of it," Chief Lipski said.

The shirt is also part of the "This is YOUR Milwaukee Fire Department" series. It also comes just in time for National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to October.

You can order a T-shirt through Oct. 1 at https://dunns-2021ignitethespiritbomberos.itemorder.com/sale .

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