Firefighters ascend the Sky Tower in support of charity

May 22, 2019

Firefighters ascend the Sky Tower in support of charity

Firefighters prepare to climb the Sky Tower’s 51 flights of stairs in support of Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand. Photo: Ellen Sinclair

One thousand firefighters climbed the Sky Tower to raise money for Leukemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand for the 15th year last Saturday.

Throughout the day, participants scaled the 51 flights of stairs dressed in their full gear, with breathing apparatus and 25kg of kit.

Firefighter Sue Fussell, from Arrowtown, said she did it “as a personal challenge, and also the benefit of being able to raise money for such a worthy cause”.

Adam Rubie, from Omakau in Central Otago, has taken part in the annual Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge since it first started in 2005.

This year he raised nearly $1500 through donations and street collections for Leukemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand, which supports people with these health issues and their families.

“Leukemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand gets no funding from the government and rely on events like this to raise all the money they need to continue their work supporting people and families of people who have leukemia.

“The event itself gives us as firefighters an opportunity to show how fit we are and how ready we are to respond when we’re needed,” said Mr Rubie.

Bailey Campbell, from RNZAF, said he took part last Saturday’s event to help out with the charity and to “do my part as a firefighter”.

Mr Campbell completed the climb in 13 minutes and 54 seconds, not far behind the top time of 8 minutes and 34 seconds by nine-time champion Josh Harrison of Mt Wellington.

This year also saw 38 international firefighters attending the event from Australia, USA, Croatia and the Cook Islands.

Robert Fleming, from Leeston in Canterbury, has taken part for four years in support of his cousin who has leukaemia.

“It makes it quite worthwhile, raising funds, and hopefully they’ll find a cure for it.”

Arrowtown firefighter Shawn Coombe said: “It’s a really good event, good camaraderie.”

The event raised $1.3 million towards Leukemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand, with all funds raised going towards their work in the community and helping families affected by these conditions.

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