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Airport Firefighters Putting Best Foot Forward To Meet Highest Challenge

In 15 years of Sky Tower Stair Challenge fundraising for charity, Auckland Airport’s fire rescue crews have climbed seven times the height of Everest, raising more than half a million dollars.

The money raised by the Airport Emergency Services (AES) team has gone to supporting Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand, a charity helping Kiwi families when they most need support.

Tony Scott, AES Crew Chief, who launched the event in 2005, said 306 airport firefighters had completed the 200 metre climb since the first event.

“Over the years, our teams have put in a lot of sweat for this fantastic cause – and they’ve raised a lot of money. Obviously, this is a year like none other and COVID-19 has made it more challenging to raise money.

“In previous years, we’ve raised funds while we’ve been training by walking up the downward escalator in the international terminal – it’s a great way to train, collect donations and raise awareness. Because of this, we’ve always been at or near the top of the list of donors.”

In recent years the AES teams have used escalator climbs to raise thousands of dollars for the Red Cross after the Christchurch earthquakes and for the Victorian bushfire victims.

“This year, because of COVID-19 and the reduction in international travellers, we’ve relied on donations from domestic travellers and online fundraising. The AES team has still raised more than $6000. It’s heart-warming to see how much Kiwis have given.”

This year’s Sky Tower Stair Challenge event was supposed to be held in May, but was delayed due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

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In recent years, firefighters from around the world have flown in to make the heroic climb, with up to 1000 sweating their way up the 51 flights of stairs. This year, there are 750 participants, all Kiwi-based firefighters and keen civilians.

Anna Cassels-Brown, GM Operations, said Auckland Airport was proud to be a long-standing partner for the Sky Tower Stair Challenge.

“We’ve been supporting this event since the first climb back in 2005 – and it’s humbling to think of all the work that our AES teams have put in since then.

“In 2020, more than ever, we’ve really seen the importance of supporting communities, and the work of Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand is vital for Kiwi families facing up to the challenges that come with a diagnosis of cancer.”

© Scoop Media

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