NOTE: This date of the calendar's release in Philadelphia has been clarified from an earlier version
WHEN "NATION'S Bravest," a calendar honoring the nation's firefighters, comes out Aug. 18, the late Philly firefighter Jack Slivinski will grace its cover.
Firefighters from around the country posed shirtless for the charity beefcake calendar created by photographer Katherine Kostreva.
Slivinski, 31, a former Marine, was disciplined in April by removal from elite Fire Rescue 1 by Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers for posing for the calendar without department permission but was reinstated to the unit less than a week later.
Kostreva said the city Law Department later sent her a letter requesting that Slivinski's uniform be cropped out of any picture she used, which she said would have made him appear naked. The city also offered to try to find another city that would permit one of its firefighters to replace him in the calendar, she said.
Kostreva said she went ahead with using Slivinski's photo in the calendar at his family's request.
She put him on the cover because of Philadelphia's history, including that Benjamin Franklin founded the nation's first volunteer fire company here.
Kostreva said she received the letter from the city before Slivinski was found dead June 25 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his Lawndale home.
The calendar, officially called "Nation's Bravest: Firefighters Unite," also contains a memorial to Slivinski, she said.
Katie Martin, a spokeswoman for the mayor's office, confirmed yesterday that the letter had been sent to Kostreva but said the city was merely following up on its policy that firefighters not pose for photos without departmental permission.
Proceeds from the calendar will go to charity. Slivinski wanted Philly's share to benefit the widows of fallen firefighters.
Calendars cost $19.95 and can be purchased now at www.NationsBravest.com. The official debut is Aug. 18 in New York City. Locally, the debut will be Sept. 7 at a fundraiser at Kings Oak in the Piazza in Northern Liberties. Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door.