Shoreline Fire and the Firefighter Tower Climb

Monday, March 14, 2011

Columbia Center from the ground, looking to the clouds above
On Sunday, March 6, 1,550 firefighters from 27 states, Canada and New Zealand - a record 281 different fire departments - competed in the world firefighter stairclimbing championship by climbing the 1,311 steps of the Columbia Center. They wore full gear and breathing apparatus, and took pledges to benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Montana firefighter Kory Burgess won for the third consecutive year, beating his own time by two seconds to finish the 69 flights of stairs in 10 minutes 53.79 seconds.

Four Shoreline Firefighters made the climb: Brett Defenbaugh, Sabine Arnold, Andy Holstad and John Henson.

With two weeks of fundraising remaining (to March 31), firefighters in the 20th annual climb have already raised over $695,000 for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The whole event began 20 years ago, with a Shoreline Firefighter, David Engler. (See previous story by David Engler.)

He did his first climb alongside hundreds of civilians – except that he was dressed in full bunker gear and on self contained breathing apparatus. It was quite a sight. Since then, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has held dual events: one for citizens and one for firefighters.

Shoreline Firefighter Bryan Gibb has been the Firefighter coordinator of the event for 20 years. He serves as Incident Commander, working with Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to make sure all runs smoothly and safely for the 1500 firefighters who come from all over to do the event.


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