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Firefighters climb stairs to raise money for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society 

Scott Firefighter Stairclimb

Templeton Fire Department Firefighter Brandon Wall climbs stairs in full fire gear. Photo courtesy of Brandon Wall

Paso Robles Kennedy Club hosts stair climber fundraiser Feb. 21

Templeton Fire Department Firefighter Brandon Wall had been wanting to do the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb in Seattle for many years, but it was not until his uncle was diagnosed with brain cancer that he was spurred to make time to participate in the event.

Last year, he traveled to Seattle with his wife, Joanne, who changed bottles with him on the 40th floor of the 69-floor climb. This year, a total of eight people from the Templeton department, along with their spouses, will take part in the 24th annual event on March 8. The upcoming fundraiser has sold out.

StairClimb_089“It’s actual race up 69 floors in Seattle at the Columbia Center,” Wall said.

Fire personnel from around the world don full fire gear as well as breathing equipment and climb the stairs as quickly as they can. With 1,900 people doing the race, it’s not possible to have all of the climbers to start at the same time. Affixed with timing chips, the race starts at 7:30 a.m. with a climber entering the stairwell every 12 seconds. Each firefighter will go up 69 flights, 1,311 stairs, up 788 feet.

“It’s a pretty neat experience,” Wall said. “I do it for my uncle and the people around me who have cancer.”

The Templeton team has a goal to raise $10,000 before it heads to Seattle. As of Tuesday morning, it had raised $6,202 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Wall said that while the money goes toward research for particular cancers, that the team is doing it in memory or in honor of people with any kind of cancer. To donate to the Templeton team, go to its page on the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s stairclimb website.

The 2014 event raised $1.97 million for blood-cancer research and patient services with 1,800 firefighters from more than 300 departments around the world.

The team:

  • Brandon Wall
  • Jeff Cannon
  • Anthony Capelli
  • Phillip Goldbloom
  • Haustin Morrison
  • Craig Pennington
  • Kurtis Pennington
  • Jeff Tomlinson

 

To train for the strenuous event, the Paso Robles Kennedy Club Fitness has allowed the firefighters to workout on the stairclimbers, in full gear. Wall said that living in an area where the highest building — Twin Cities Community Hospital — is four stories high, he said that they have to make 17 trips up and down the hospital’s stairwell from the first floor to the roof.

To raise money for the team, the Paso Robles gym will bring the stairclimber to the lobby on Saturday, Feb. 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. during its Fit Faire.

“It’s a good cause,” Wall said.

To watch the video of last year’s stairclimb, go to YouTube.

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