The five Stettler firefighters who will be climbing the steps of the BOW Building on Sunday

Stettler firefighters preparing to climb the tallest building in Calgary for cancer fundraiser

The firefighters will climb the 1,204 steps of the BOW Building in full firefighting gear.

On May 7, five firefighters from Stettler will don their full firefighting gear and climb 1,204 steps to the top of the BOW Building as part of the Calgary Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge.

The stairclimb challenge is an annual fundraiser benefiting Wellspring Calgary, a support centre for firefighters and others affected by cancer.

The BOW Building is the tallest building in western Canada, and its geographic location makes this stariclimb the highest firefighter stairclimb in the world.

This is the first year that a team from Stettler will be competing in the challenge, and the team has been working hard to prepare for the event.

Since January, they firefighters have been meeting at the Stettler Recreation Centre at 5:30 a.m. two days a week to practice their stair climbing.

The 1,204 steps of the BOW Building work out to about 60 trips up the Recreation Centre stairs, explained firefighter Steve Maruk.

Climbing 775 vertical feet, the height of the BOW Building, is a challenge on any occasion, but this climb will present some additional challenges for firefighters, according to Maruk.

“It’s a glass building so I imagine it’s going to be like an oven in there,” Maruk said. “Dealing with the heat in the bunker gear is the biggest hurdle.”

Working in hot temperatures, however, is part of the job description when it comes to firefighting.

“Everything we do is hot in that gear, so we’re kind of used to it,” commented Maruk.

In addition, while physical fitness plays a major role in the stairclimb challenge, the battle is also a psychological one.

“It’s a mental game,” Maruk said. “You just have to be able to keep pushing.”

As volunteer firefighters, all of those who will be representing Stettler in the stairclimb challenge also have full-time jobs.

On top of this, most are also training on evenings and weekends for their Level 1 firefighting certificate.

“We’ve been putting in a lot of hours to get this qualification level,” Mark explained.

The stairclimb challenge, he said, is something the team members decided to take on outside of their regular work and training hours.

For Maruk, part of the reason for participating in this challenge is personal.

“My brother-in-law passed away last year from cancer, and my mom has cancer right now that she’s fighting,” he said. “Until cancer really impacts you, it’s easy to put it on the back burner.”

Maruk also noted that because of the toxins they’re exposed to, firefighters are more likely to develop cancer than members of the general population.

All of this makes Wellspring Calgary an important organization to support, according to Maruk.

“It’s a good place to fundraise for,” he said. “The money will go right to helping people in need.”

Those interested in sponsoring the firefighters can do so through the “SRFD Firefighter Stair Climb Team” Facebook page.


Just Posted

Man Van coming to Stettler next month

Free PSA blood tests to screen for prostate cancer on April 7, 2018

Consort RCMP arrest five people on drug charges

Police seized cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA with assistance from the Edmonton ALERT team

Motorcycle safety: who’s to blame?

Riders need to look in the mirror first before blaming others

Minister Phillips: no water licenses stripped from producers

NDP minister says some licenses accidentally, not intentionally, closed

Summer Villages file dispute over proposed RV Resort

County of Stettler cannot proceed to second reading during Saturday’s Public Hearing

Feds promise more service dogs for vets with PTSD

Questions ahead as federal budget paves the way for more on service dogs for vets with PTSD

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Canadian comic Mike MacDonald dies at 63

Ottawa-born comedian had performed on David Letterman

Young Jersey cow takes Saturday night walk through Ponoka

Ponoka residents help police locate runaway bovine, which was safely collected.

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

PHOTOS: Team Tanner takes in northern lights in Yellowknife

The aurora borealis and storm hunters photograph Yellowknife’s picturesque night skies

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Most Read

Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.