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Firefighters climb 69 flights of stairs to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society


1354 days ago   Article ID# 1501457
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Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

LEWISTON, IDAHO (KLEW) - More than 1,500 firefighters traveled to Seattle to climb Columbia Center tower of 69 flights of stairs.

On Sunday, March 11th, 1,550 firefighters representing 291 departments from 24 U.S. States, Canada and Germany competed in a timed race to the top of the Columbia Center in full combat gear.

"You start every 15 seconds and just give it a go," said Clarkston volunteer firefighter Nick Azebedo. "Start a good steady pace and pray that you make it."

Eight men from Clarkston and seven men from Lewiston climbed the second tallest building west of the Mississippi to help raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's largest fundraiser in Washington.

"When you are climbing the stairs there's so many things telling you to take a break or stop because you need to," said Clarkston paramedic Jared Lutes. "But, when you get done it's like "I did it!" and you are pretty excited."

Each firefighter is required to wear full turnouts, including a 10 pound jacket, a helmet and a self contained breathing apparatus. All together, the equipment weighs about 40 pounds.

"It was heavy, but it wasn't too hot," said Clarkston volunteer firefighter Nick Moran. "I thought it was going to be hotter than it was."

"It got pretty hot around the 50th floor and then you have people squirting water down your back so it helps out a lot,' said Clarkston volunteer firefighter Robert Marsh.

Each participating firefighter is required to meet a $150 fundraising minimum to compete on top of a $55 entry fee. All proceeds go towards the finding of cures for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and melanoma as well as improving the quality of life for patients and their families.

"It's something that is real accomplishing and rewarding to do," said Azebedo. "I figured I would challenge myself and see if I could do it and I did it."

Each firefighter competes with one another to see who can climb the 69 stairs the fastest. Lewiston Battalion Chief Kevin Kalbfleisch placed 96th and Jared Lutes placed 190th out of the on 1,550 people.

Copyright 2015 KLEW   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1354 days ago   Article ID# 1501457

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