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‘I love, I love, I love my calendar girl’

Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue paramedic/firefighter Lisa Tuffs will be featured in the 2008 firefighter calendar to benefit the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters Burn Foundation. Calendars will be available to the public in August.  - Photo by Jesse Beals
Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue paramedic/firefighter Lisa Tuffs will be featured in the 2008 firefighter calendar to benefit the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters Burn Foundation. Calendars will be available to the public in August.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Twenty-eight firefighters from around the state vied for a spot in the 2008 firefighter calendar.

Central Kitsap’s own Lisa Tuffs was one of the finalists selected to grace the pages of the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters Burn Foundation calendar.

Tuffs, a paramedic/firefighter with Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue (CKFR), joined other firefighters in strutting their stuff on the catwalk May 4 in Seattle. Twenty-nine judges critiqued the firefighters on their wit, walking on the catwalk and physique. More than 500 tickets were sold for the fund-raising event. All proceeds from the event and the calendar sales benefit the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters Burn Foundation.

Tuffs donned bunker pants and a sports top to woo the judges and audience members. Although Tuffs was nervous in the spotlight, she enjoyed the experience.

“The good part was there were such bright lights you couldn’t see the people in the audience,” Tuffs said.

Each contestant made a 30-second speech introducing themselves to the judges and audience. When Tuffs took the microphone, she won over the room with her statement: “My name is Lisa Tuffs. I work for Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue and I was the first woman hired in the department. I get to play with big toys, get sweaty and play with these guys all day.”

Tuffs has been a professional paramedic/firefighter with CKFR for almost five years. She served as a CKFR volunteer firefighter for seven years prior.

“I worked in the medical field already and wanted to be an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician),” she said. “I just got bit by the fire bug.”

Tuffs worked in the eye field before joining CKFR. She did a ride along with firefighters and knew she wanted to join the profession.

“That was it after that, I had to have more and more,” she said.

Tuffs was the first female hired by CKFR in a department of more than 70 men. She also was named Rookie of the Year in 2003.

“We’re just like a big family,” Tuffs said with a smile. “Now it’s just like I have 70 big brothers.”

Tuffs works at Station 56 in Seabeck. Kevin Best, her partner, has been featured in the firefighter calendar for three years. He thought Tuffs would be a good fit for the calendar.

“She’s going to be great for the calendar for sure,” Best said. “She has a real bubbly personality, she will do great.”

Tuffs and her fellow calendar models will do calendar signings and numerous public appearances throughout the year. They also will tour a burn center and meet burn victims throughout the state.

“This helps people with burns lead more productive lives,” Tuffs explained. “They’ve made a lot of leaps and bounds in burn research.”

Tuffs had her calendar photo shoot today and will not find out which month she represents until Aug. 9 when the completed calendar is unveiled.

The Burn Foundation began producing firefighter calendars in 1996. Since then, it has become its No. 1 fund-raiser.

The calendars will be available for purchase at www.firefightercalendar.org and at the CKFR administration building on Northwest Newberry Hill Road in Silverdale late this summer.

Tuffs enjoyed the experience and looks forward to a year filled with public appearances. She also is considering competing for a spot in future calendars.

“It was scary, but it was a lot of fun,” Tuffs said with a smile.

Lisa Tuffs

Title: Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue paramedic/firefighter

Age: 39

Born: Stuttgart, Germany

Education: Graduated paramedic school at Tacoma Community College in 2000; currently working toward a degree at South Seattle Community College

Family: Single

Career: CKFR volunteer firefighter for seven years, professional for almost five years

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