Three KPFD firefighters donned full gear and climbed all 69 floors of the Columbia Center Tower in Seattle March 13 to raise funds for blood cancer research and patient services.
The 31st annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Society fundraiser was for career or volunteer firefighters; a second climb for the public was held March 27.
At 788 feet of vertical elevation, the Columbia tower is the second tallest building west of the Mississippi, with 1,356 steps to the top.
The KPFD crew consisted of career firefighter/EMT Lt. Danny Hansen, 34 (18 minutes, 22 seconds), volunteer Lt. Dave Vezzani, 61 (22 minutes, 59 seconds), and career firefighter/paramedic Adam Morse, 33 (27 minutes, 9 seconds).
They were supported by former volunteer and now new hire firefighter/EMT Laura Soares, who changed their air bottles halfway up the climb.
“You go in your firefighting gear so everyone can see how hard that is,” said KPFD Public Information Officer Anne Nesbit. “Full bunker, mask on, air on, all your liners in, gloves and boots on, everything. It’s about 75 pounds all told.”
The Seattle climb is the world’s largest on-air contest, with over 2,000 firefighters participating, according to LLS. At press time, the event had raised $1.8 million of its $2 million goal.
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