GREAT FALLS — Great Falls firefighters are training for the upcoming stair-climb challenge at the Columbia Center in Seattle to help raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
They are preparing to conquer 69 floors, 1,356 steps, and 788 vertical feet of elevation gain, all while wearing about 65 pounds of turnout gear. This year, the event will be on Sunday, March 13.
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"Whenever you talk about raising funds in a competition, the firefighters kind of like that idea so we've been involved, and it's been a great opportunity to go out to Seattle and raise funds for a great cause," Great Falls Fire Rescue (GFFR) Battalion Chief BJay Perry explained.
While the event is hosted to help those with blood cancer, the fundraiser also aims to raise awareness of all different forms of cancer as well.
"All cancer is what we are fighting for within the fire service, and so for me to go out there, and do the stair climb. Raise the funds. It's to support an organization like The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society so that they can go against the fight against cancer," said GFFR Engineer Steven Lowe.
Each year, those participating share stories of those of cancer survivors as well as those who tragically lost their lives.
"It's meaningful and important to us because we're in the fire service and a lot of what we do is EMS and so we see a lot of people that struggle with cancer or any other type of issues, and also a lot of families within our department our affected by cancer, and I think that's just one of the main reasons it's important to us to raise money for that and go up there and do it for a cause." - GFFR Firefighter Chase Perry
GFFR firefighter Chris Lee will be taking part for first time as he will be climbing 69 floors of stairs and 1,356 steps to reach the highly acclaimed sky view observatory overlooking the Emerald City.
"I'm just excited that I get to challenge myself by doing this, and I know I'm going to be really tired at the top, I might not have the best time, but it's going to be a good time," Lee said.
The stair climb will take place on March 13th at the Columbia Center in Seattle, Washington but fundraisers will be held. Click here if you would like to donate.