Eagle River Fire’s Nate Pierce makes the cover of the 2016 Colorado Firefighter Calendar | VailDaily.com

Eagle River Fire’s Nate Pierce makes the cover of the 2016 Colorado Firefighter Calendar

EAGLE COUNTY — Beefcake is a major food group for local firefighters.

Nate Pierce not only made this year's Colorado Firefighter Calendar, a fundraiser for the Children's Hospital Colorado Burn Center, he made the cover.

Chip Carney was one of the first local firefighters to make the calendar. Since then, there have been more than a half dozen from departments around the valley.

"No one has gotten the cover, so that's pretty sweet," Pierce said.

Noble goal

It's good to have diamond hard abs, but the goal is not the glitz and glamor.

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The calendar was launched in 2011 to help burn victims and raise fire safety awareness. It's all volunteer and every dime goes to the program.

Firefighters from around the state volunteer time to raise funds, attend events, educate children on fire prevention and increase awareness for the Children's Hospital Colorado Burn Center and other centers around Colorado.

Tradition of giving

Vail's Chad Cristia was the first local firefighter to make the calendar. Several from the Eagle River Fire Protection District have graced its pages — Carney was the first. Hannah Lodge, of Gypsum, was a calendar queen.

"It's a tradition at Eagle River," Pierce said. "And it was time to step out an do something for charity."

Pierce said a photo shoot like this is something he has always wanted to try. Some of it's fact, some of it's fiction.

"It's more or less real, although I wouldn't have the top down like that and go into a river," he said.

The big unveiling event was earlier this month in Denver. There will be other fundraising events through the year, including one at Red Rocks during a showing of "Magic Mike."

Pierce is one of 17 Colorado firefighters to make this year's calendar.

There are more than a dozen of these firefighter calendars around the U.S. and Canada. You'll be glad to know that the Colorado Fire Fighters Calendar was rated No. 1.

Guns and Roses

The tryouts were in May. You show up, and they give you three minutes on stage.

"You throw out flowers, water bottles. Anything to get the crowd riled up," Pierce said.

Pierce did a compilation of Justin Timberlake songs, from N'Sync to his more current work, then choreographed a dance to the whole thing, pulling rose petals out of his pants and throwing them to the crowd.

"I had this bad ass presentation, and everybody's jaw just dropped," he said.

After all the photos are taken, the calendar crew figures out their best cover shot, and Pierce was their guy.

They checked some of his references. He's out front, both literally and metaphorically, and the idea is to sell calendars.

Fitness is the goal

You don't look like Pierce by wishing it so. There's no pill, serum or magic incantation. It's just work.

"Four or five years ago I decided to get as healthy and fit as possible. The workouts are intense, and so is the diet," he said.

Pierce combines all kinds of workouts and has figured out how to make his diets and workouts work together. It's a paleo-style diet, which in his case includes bacon and chicken. He cooks with butter and eggs, so he gets all the oils and the good fats.

Not that you'll see any of those fats in his cover shot.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

To buy your Colorado Firefighter Calendar

Nate Pierce with the Eagle River Fire Protection District is on the cover of the 2016 Colorado Firefighter Calendar.

Proceeds from calendar sales and related events benefit the Children’s Hospital Colorado Burn Center and Burn Camps Program.

Calendars can be purchased for $20 at http://www.coloradofirefightercalendar.org.