Seven members of the Lacombe Fire Department ventured to Calgary recently for the ninth annual Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge.
All members completed a whopping 57 stories – 1,370 steps – in firefighter gear for an amazing cause.
“The Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge raises money for Wellspring – which donates money to firefighters and civilians who are dealing with cancer,” explained Tammy Brigley, one of the seven local firefighters who took part.
“It’s an awesome atmosphere and such a great event to go to – a great fundraiser.
“When I started with it in 2019, they were at Calgary’s Bow Tower. Then COVID hit, so they did the next one virtually. The one after that they did at Canada Olympic Park plus virtually. The next one was at Canada Olympic Park as well.”
Wellspring Alberta provides a comprehensive range of support, resources, and programs so anyone living with cancer and the people who care for them to help improve the quality of their lives.
Meanwhile, this year’s event was held at Calgary’s tallest skyscraper – Brookfield Place.
For Brigley and the team, getting in the best shape possible started off early this year.
“We went on some stairs that are over on the west end of town – at Westview Park,” she said. “We would do those 30 times for a total of 1,370 stairs.
Participants came from across Alberta and B.C. and from as far away as Ontario, Manitoba, and the NWT.
At the event, every 20 seconds a different set of firefighters would start the arduous climb.
“Since January we have been training so much for this,” she said. “So it wasn’t that bad – although it was super hot,” she added with a laugh.
“You feel like you can’t catch your breath because it’s so hot in there.
“The first year I did it in 23:08, and I wanted to beat that for a personal best.”
Ultimately, her rigorous training paid off as she landed a time of 18:25 not only beating her personal best but also vaulting her to first place in her age category of 36-50 which included 26 women.
In general, the Lacombe group did a super job, she said. It’s also a superb team-building event to take part in.
In total, there were 423 firefighters that made the climb.
Brigley, who has called Lacombe home for three years now, explained that working as a firefighter is something of a dream come true.
She couldn’t imagine a more fulfilling line of work.
“I’m a compassionate person, so I love to give that to other people – I like to help people. It’s such a good feeling when you can help somebody on their worst day.”