BY BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
“Try to go at least 15-20 minutes. That’s all the air we’ll get out of one bottle.”
The little Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire Department is in a fundraising dog fight with the much larger Seattle fire department in this year’s Leukemia and Lymphoma annual Society’s Firefighter Stair Climb.
“We ended up winning first place as per-capita team which brought in $500 per person which is pretty good for a team of nine. We held on to that title for a couple of days,” said David Ward a firefighter/paramedic with the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District. “Of course the bigger agencies with more people pulled ahead but we are still just behind them in second place but we’ll keep trying.”
“We have this really neat stair machine upstairs. It’s basically rotating stairs that continuously go for as long as you like almost like a treadmill,” said Israel Pentor, an EMT/student volunteer. “To I like to get on that, wear a weighted vest, hold the bar that weighs about 70 pounds which is more less equivalent to what we’ll be using and ride that for about 15 minutes. I hoping that’s the timeframe I’ll be able to make it within.”
Sixty-nine floors of the Columbia Center in Seattle, featuring 1,356 steps and 788 feet of vertical gain. More than 2,000 career firefighters take the challenge every year. Last year they raised $2.9 million and a lot of awareness.
“Some people come forward and say ‘this is something that affects me directly,’ and I didn’t know they were a survivor of one of those diseases,” said Andrew Pace, a volunteer fire fighter/EMT. “It’s been pretty powerful what a little tool like social media can do for a fundraiser like this.”
“It’s very hot and sweaty but it’s for a great cause and it’s training for real life events that we may have to face.”