Firefighters have always been associated with saving lives and saving buildings -- and families -- from certain ruin.

Their heroic acts call to mind images of soot-stained turnout gear and sweaty faces holding children in their arms as they rush out of a burning structure to safety.

But Goldsboro firefighters are going the extra mile and trying to help save lives in a different way.

For the month of October, they've traded their navy blue T-shirts for gray and pink T-shirts under their turnout gear.

While they do their daily duties -- checking on residential and commercial fire alarms, assisting EMS and hurling everything they've got at buildings engulfed in flames -- they are also honing in on fighting breast cancer.

Until they're gone, gray and pink T-shirts are being sold by the Goldsboro Fire Department in an effort to help raise money to fight breast cancer.

"I allow the guys to wear them while on duty just to promote awareness, and also pay respect to all of our cancer survivors and our cancer victims," said Goldsboro Fire Chief Gary Whaley. "They're not alone, and Goldsboro Fire Department will stand with them as long as we can."

David Grice, one of several firefighters who helped to start the T-shirt selling program five years ago, said several of the firefighters wanted to let the community know that the fire department cared about them and wanted to give back.

So they got together, brainstormed a bit and decided to create T-shirts to sell to benefit the fight against breast cancer.

"We wanted to let the community that we are here and we care about them," Grice said.

And while men wearing pink might be an unusual sight, it is a fitting one for Goldsboro firefighters who want to save lives in more ways than simply what is listed in their job description.

After all, there were 99 breast cancer deaths reported in Wayne County from 2009 to 2013.

In that same period, 6 percent of all local cancer diagnoses were female breast cancer.

Grice said the firefighters -- including the department's two female firefighters -- only wear the shirts on duty through the end of this month.

He added that multiple firefighters came together to make the vision a reality, and they could not do it without the support of the chief and the command staff.

But the shirts will be on sale until the end of November, he said.

Anyone wanting to purchase a shirt can call the department at 919-580-4262.

They are $20.

All proceeds will be donated to Cures for the Colors, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization established in 2011.

The organization was created to help cancer patients in Eastern North Carolina by assisting with basic living essentials such as grocery vouchers, gas cards, utility payments and oncology-related prescription drugs.