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Fireys prepare to climb for a cure
More than 200 CFA firefighters will put their physical endurance to the test at the annual Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb on Saturday.
Firefighters from 77 CFA brigades across the state will be joined by their counterparts in South Australia, New South Wales, New Zealand and the United States to compete in the charity event on Saturday 5 September.
Each of the 220 firefighters will race up 28 flights of stairs from street level to the top of the Crown Metropol Hotel while wearing a full kit of protective clothing and breathing apparatus, weighing 25 kilograms.
This is the second year of the annual event held by the Firefighters Charity Fund to raise money for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
More than $247,000 of this year’s $250,000 target has been raised for cancer research and treatment.
Stonehaven Fire Brigade 2nd Lieutenant Jeff Harriott is leading the individual fundraising tally with more than $11,000 raised so far through sponsorships and by collecting and recycling dead car and truck batteries.
“I work in the auto industry, so every phone call I made to workshops I would ask if they had any spare batteries lying around, and I was pretty much inundated,” Mr Harriott said.
“Every lunch time I was generally putting a dozen batteries in my ute.
“My initial goal was little more than $300. Once I broke it I kept setting other mini goals and soon it became a bit of an obsession.”
The volunteer firefighter admits he could have done more training to prepare for Saturday’s event.
“I’m doing my second run this week, but it’s upstairs in full structural gear and breathing apparatus. For me it’s not about the time I do it in, I’m just looking forward to the atmosphere on the day.”
Mr Harriott’s total has already surpassed last year’s individual fundraising record of $5,305 set by Paul Hayes of Beaconsfield Fire Brigade.
“Admittedly, the whole process has taught me so much more about the prevalence of cancer and the importance of this cause,” Mr Harriott said.
“When you tell people what you’re fundraising for it’s amazing how many people then share their own personal stories. It’s a disease that doesn’t discriminate.”
The event begins 7am with an official welcome by Emergency Managament Commissioner Craig Lapsley. The first wave of climbers take off at 8am.
For further information visit: www.firefighterclimb.org.au
CFA brigades taking part in the 2015 Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb:
North West Region
South West Region
South East Region
Narre Warren North
North East Region