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Firefighters Sky Tower Vertical Challenge

Firefighters Sky Tower Vertical Challenge

Fighting fires, fear, and the battle against leukaemia

Wednesday 9 May 2007 – More than 150 keen firefighters will test their endurance in a gut-busting challenge up Auckland’s Sky Tower this Saturday 12 May. The test for the firefighters is to climb 47 flights of stairs (1,029 steps) to reach the observation deck overlooking the city. At 328 metres the Sky Tower is the tallest building in the southern hemisphere and SKYCITY is proud to support the firefighters as they raise their heart rates while raising much needed funds for the Leukaemia & Blood Foundation.

The firefighters will compete in an individual time challenge as well as brigade teams of 3 competing to conquer 10,000 stairs. The firefighters will be wearing full fire-fighting kit and breathing apparatus weighing approximately 22kg.

Event organiser and firefighter Tony Scott has been bitten by the stair climbing bug and has joined Kiwi teams in stair climb events in Seattle, Chicago and Melbourne. This inspiration has led him to organise the event here in New Zealand and it is now the largest individual firefighting competition in the country.

A special guest this year is Jamie Joroff, a firefighter and paramedic with Prince George’s County Fire Department in Maryland, U.S.A. Jamie met Tony four years ago at the Seattle climb, and this year she decided to make her first trip to New Zealand to compete. Jamie has friends at work who have survived leukaemia, and both of her grandfathers died of blood-related cancers. “Seeing them go through their illnesses reinforces an appreciation for good health and the ability to move while you can”, she said. Jamie’s goals for the climb this year are to “not pass out” and “to remember that feeling like she can’t breathe for a short time IS fun”.

In 2006 the dedicated firefighters not only broke racing records but hit a fundraising record too with over $25,000 being raised for the LBF. The firefighters are again seeking sponsorship for their efforts from friends, colleagues and family in their local communities. The diverse range of fundraising activities this year include a wildlife hunting competition in Mossburn, Southland and sausage sizzles, public events and fundraising evenings in Paihia, Northland.

Pru Etcheverry, Executive Director of the Leukaemia & Blood Foundation, says “The diagnosis of leukaemia can have far-reaching consequences for patients and their families. The LBF provides assistance for people dealing with their illness and treatment and getting back to a normal life through individualised patient support programmes including educational booklets, support groups, counselling and financial support.”

“The Leukaemia & Blood Foundation receives no government funding. As such, the energy and enthusiasm of supporters like Tony and the firefighters is invaluable, and ultimately makes our work possible”, she said. “We encourage members of the public to come along to the Sky Tower on Saturday to support the terrific people participating in this unique event.”

We are grateful to SKYCITY for their support of the Firefighters Sky Tower Vertical Challenge event. Sky Tower will open early on Saturday (7.30am) and the ‘Spectator’s Special’ will offer supporters a special 50% discount off main observation admission prices between 7.30am and 1.00pm so don’t miss out.

Event details
Date: Saturday 12 May, 2007
Time: 8am-12 noon
Venue: Sky Tower
Address: SKYCITY, Federal Street, Auckland Central

To make a donation to the Leukaemia & Blood Foundation in support of the firefighters, please call 0800 15 10 15 or visit


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