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Climbing sky-high for a good cause

Fall City firefighter Brett Krache waves to passing cars outside Farmhouse Market Saturday afternoon, Feb. 7. The firefighters were raising funds for an upcoming stair climb to benefit the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society. - Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Fall City firefighter Brett Krache waves to passing cars outside Farmhouse Market Saturday afternoon, Feb. 7. The firefighters were raising funds for an upcoming stair climb to benefit the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

When firefighter Joe Springer gazes up next month at the tallest building west of the Mississippi, he’ll once again have the amazing thought that he’ll be at the top in 20 minutes.

Springer and other firefighters from Snoqualmie and Fall City will climb the 1,311 steps to the top of the 69-floor Columbia Center in downtown Seattle, a vertical distance of 788 feet. They’re going the distance for the 18th annual Firefighter Stairclimb, a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society set for Sunday, March 8. It is the largest firefighter competition in the world, with teams of firefighters competing based on dollars raised and clocked speed to the top of the tower.

“It’s extremely intense,” Springer said. “You walk outside, look up, and you say, ‘Aww, man!’”

Firefighters climb the hot, narrow staircase in full gear weighing 60 pounds or more.

Most firefighters, Springer included, set a goal of reaching the top in 20 minutes or less.

Fall City and Snoqualmie fire crews are considering a friendly wager to make the event more interesting.

Snoqualmie is sending a team of eight, while Fall City is sending three crew members. Snoqualmie firefighters have competed in the stair climb eight years running. Since 2003, Snoqualmie teams have raised nearly $18,000 for this event through local donations from individuals and businesses.

Fall City firefighters will hold a fundraiser, noon to 2 p.m., on two Saturdays, Feb. 14 and 21, at the Farmhouse Market. Firefighter families will hold a bake sale, and give away childrens’ fire helmets and temporary firefighter tattoos.

To learn more about the Snoqualmie firefighter fundraiser, contact Brian Busby at (425) 681-7380. For information about Fall City efforts, call the station at (425) 222-5841 or e-mail to jspringer@king27fire.com.

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