A newly transformed Anchorage Fire Department truck unveiled Wednesday is part of the department’s effort to raise cancer awareness and encourage people to get regular screenings.

Retired Anchorage firefighter Carol Dalley-Bacon knew that her cancer battle would be discussed at the AFD event Wednesday night. What she didn't know was the event was set up in her honor.

"I'm pleased to say that Carol is happy and healthy and her first granddaughter is due any day," said her son-in-law, and Anchorage firefighter, Justin Mack.

Firefighters then drove in "Miss Carol," a firetruck that was transformed from traditional red to pink in order to raise awareness about early cancer detection, Dalley-Bacon's successful fight with leukemia and other firefighters who've fought cancer.

"It is amazing and shocking. I was very surprised by all this work everybody did. It was really an honor," said Dalley-Bacon.

The department introduced "Miss Carol" because front-line engines get taken out of service after 25 years and AFD's other pink firetruck, "Miss Linda," is being retired and moved to Bayside Fire Department in Kodiak.

Howard Rue, chief of the Bayside Fire Department in Kodiak, says "Miss Linda" will be put to good use on the Island.

“We'll use her for service events on Kodiak, in Kodiak, and also use to train our new firemen. So it will have a roundabout life. It is just not going to sit and collect dust," Rue said.

He also says the department expects that "Miss Linda" will greet cruise ship passengers, will be at a spring cancer walk and Crabfest this summer. Rue says "Miss Linda" will spread the same message of cancer prevention as the truck did in Anchorage.

"As a guy you always put that stuff off: 'I don't need that test,' 'I don't want that test,' 'It's invasive,'" he said. "Your life is pretty dear, and maybe taking a little bit of protection and detection methods is a good thing, a life-saving thing."

The chief expects "Miss Linda" to be in Kodiak by the end of the month.

AFD Captain Jason Dolph is responsible for transforming both trucks. "Miss Linda" was introduced five years ago and named in honor of his mother who died of breast cancer.

Kodiak is where Linda Dolph lived with her husband, a retired Kodiak fire chief, for more than 40 years.

"When she was diagnosed with cancer in 2003, she had not been to a doctor in 25 years, not once. Not for a cold, not for a checkup. She didn't have a mammogram or any kind of screenings," Captain Dolph told the crowd.

"I know she's extremely proud of what's happening and this is her speaking to everyone, telling them that awareness does matter and they need to get checked and giving everyone a second chance," he said.

Linda’s husband, Mike Dolph, also spoke about the importance of early detection.

"She was just one of those quiet, gracious souls. The thing that I think she would want as a message to others is go get checked. Because she realized, after more than 20 years not seeing a physician, that that would have made the difference, or could have made the difference, with her," he said.

Captain Dolph says no Anchorage Municipal tax dollars were spent transforming either truck. He says he helped raised money to turn "Miss Linda" pink, whereas The Alaska CyberKnife Center paid for "Miss Carol," about $15,000.

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