On Saturday, May 19th 950 Firefighters raced up the 51 flights, 1,103 individual steps of the 328 metre high, Auckland Sky Tower. In a display of fitness and competition the Firefighters were raising much needed funds for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand(LBC). LBC does not receive government funding, so the dollars raised from the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge help fund their core services, including patient support, support and funding for research, awareness and advocacy. In 2018 collectively more than $1.25 million has been raised by firefighters from communities around New Zealand, as well as competitors attending from Australia and the USA. The fastest firefighter, winning for his eighth year in a row, was Josh Harrison of Mt Wellington Fire Brigade who set a new record for the event at eight minutes and eleven seconds.
Amongst those accepting the challenge were four climbers from the Kirwee Fire Brigade. Dale Evans and Stu Begg had both competed before and they were joined by two first timers, Blair Jones and Garry Robinson.
It was reported that it was a gentle weather day for Auckland this year and the Kirwee contingent were drawn as an early run, squad 18, at about 11:00am. This saw them not too hot and dehydrated before they started their climb.
“1103 steps later, with full firefighting gear, weighing around 25 kilos, they all arrived at the top with times as follows,” said a Brigade spokesperson.
Dale Evans 12 min 57 secs
Blair Jones 18 min 56 secs
Stu Begg 19 min 52 secs
Garry Robinson 24 min 08 secs.
“A well-earned rest and water as their gear was taken off them before back down to the ground floor to check their times at the caravan.
“Will they be back next year…. too right. Go the Wee.”