Local firefighters head to Sky Tower challenge

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PAM.JONES

@alliedpress.co.nz

Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes district firefighters are getting ready to put in a superhuman effort at this weekend’s Step Up Sky Tower Stair Challenge in Auckland.

Clyde Volunteer Fire Brigade firefighter Tim Paulin, who is about to complete his fourth challenge, said all Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes fire brigades had some firefighters taking part.

The annual event raises about $1 million a year for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand, through money raised and donated by fire brigades, firefighters and other participants.

Participants in the challenge will climb 1103 steps in 51 flights of stairs, wearing up to 25kg of kit.

This year, 950 firefighters will take part.

Mr Paulin said he and fellow Clyde firefighter Barry Nevill, who is doing his first Sky Tower challenge, had been training at the Clyde Dam, running up and down the 159 steps inside the dam seven times in a row each training session.

They had raised about $2000 so far, and had just received $600 from the Dunstan Hotel Social Club.

Among other Central Otago firefighters taking part in the event are eight from the Alexandra Volunteer Fire Brigade.

Firefighter Stacey Waldron said the Alexandra brigade had raised more than $3000, and still had money coming in.

This is the 13th year Alexandra firefighters have taken part in the event.

To find out more about the challenge go online to firefightersclimb.org.nz