The Lake Country Fire Department rocked all 69 floors in the world’s tallest on-air stair climb in Seattle while wearing full gear and breathing apparati on March 12.
“69 floors was an exhausting climb,” said firefighter Eric DeGelder.
Despite having no buildings taller than four flights of stairs to train on, nine firefighters travelled to the event to compete against 171 teams and 2,000 firefighters and raise money for Leukemia Lymphoma research, a blood cancer that is all too common in firefighters.
“We’re raising money to make it a little less dangerous to be in this profession… cancer is quite prevalent among firefighters, ” said Lake Country Firefighter Alex Toering.
Toering said that the event was amazing and electric but somber as many participants were competing in honour of loved ones battling cancer.
“Completing the climb is a physical triumph in itself, but is also symbolic of yet pales in comparison to, the strenuous journey that blood cancer patients endure,” reads the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Firefighter Stairclimb website.
Many competitors had photos of loved ones taped to their equipment and memorial displays were stationed on every other landing of the climb.
“It was very motivating,” said Toering.
The Lake Country Fire Department raised $5,000 for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.
Firefighter Tom Clements returned home with bragging rights for the second year in a row after being the fastest member of the Lake Country fire department.