STAIRCLIMB - Last years Eckville Fire Department squad went up the 1204 stairs of the Calgary Bow Building in full gear.

STAIRCLIMB - Last years Eckville Fire Department squad went up the 1204 stairs of the Calgary Bow Building in full gear.

Eckville to compete in and raise funds for Firefighter Stairclimb

The Eckville Fire Department is looking to beat their records from last year and raise money for a good cause

The Eckville Fire Department is looking to beat their records from last year and raise money for a good cause at the Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge 2017 in Calgary.

“This is the third year they are holding it,” Firefighter John Phillips said. “It’s an event put together in Calgary to raise funds for Wellspring Calgary which is an institution that helps people who are living with cancer. It’s less on the research side and more about making life more comfortable for those people who are living with it.”

The International event invites 500 fighters from across North America to climb 54 stories in full gear, including air tanks and has many celebrity supporters including TSN analyst Darren Dreger.

“They put it out there for 500 firefighters from all over Alberta, Canada and the States to pledge for a minimum of $200 to climb,” Phillips said. “You head down to Calgary with your full gear, you’re carrying an air pack as well and you climb 1204 steps.”

While $200 per person and $800 per team of four is the minimum donation, the Eckville FD is looking to raise a lot more before the climb day on May 7.

“I’m at the $200 mark exactly and the Eckville team is at about the $750 mark,” Phillips said. “We need to be at the $800 mark at least to climb.”

While the funds go to charity, Phillips explained the event has some good healthy competition to it.

“They give us the total team climb time, so they record you individually and the team as a whole,” he said, adding his personal time last year wasn’t that great due to illness.

“We have three out of four members who did the climb last year and then we have one new one,” he said. “Hopefully we will be able to beat last year’s time.”

The Eckville team is still looking for donations and Wellspring Calgary provides an easy way to donate at www.calgarystairclimb.com.

“It goes until the end of March and we will be taking donations right up until the end,” Phillips said. “To donate, you can search up the individual climbers on the Wellspring Calgary website or you look up the team which is Eckville Fire Team 1.”

Right now, the squad is figuring out how to train without stairs around the Eckville community.

“Our Eckville team doesn’t really have anywhere to train vertically so they are training what they can for endurance,” Phillips said. “We are trying to train lengthwise.”

Much of the training is done on the highways around Eckville.

“If you see us on the side of the road give us a honk and show your support,” Phillips said.

reporter@eckvilleecho.com