After months of training and fundraising, a crew of five local brigade members ventured
to Auckland over the weekend to take part in the annual Firefighter Sky Tower Challenge
in support of Leukemia & Blood Cancer, New Zealand (LBC).
There is strong competition between brigades and individual firefighters, not just for fundraising, but for the competition itself.
All firefighters involved were required to climb 51 flights of stairs, equating to 1,103 steps, wearing an extra 25kg of kit and if that wasn’t enough, for those willing to push themselves that much further, there was the option to complete the ‘Firefighter of Steel’ challenge. This involved a heavier steel cylinder and going an additional nine flights of stairs than the standard challenge. One of the local firefighters, Ian Cox, completed this and in a great time of 25.19.
Another local success story was that of Karina Bergshoeff, who placed first in the Donned Category for Female. This meant Karina participated in the challenge with a full 25kg kit whilst breathing through the self-contained breathing apparatus used by firefighters.
Local team final challenge times
(minutes and seconds):
Sean King (Donned, Started) 16.42
Karina Bergshoeff (Donned) 17.20
Angela Rennie (Donned, Started) 17.28
Adam Collier (Donned) 24.07
Ian Cox (Donned) 25.19
(Donned = full 25kg kit, Started = breathing fresh air).
The local brigade members with the full support of all their fire brigade, raised a total of $17,604 for Leukemia and Blood Cancer, New Zealand. That places the local brigade 10th on the overall leaderboard - quite an accomplishment, given the size of some of the leading brigades. This year’s appeal has raised an astounding $1,287,621. “It’s the most our brigade has ever raised for the Sky
Tower Stair Challenge,” says Adam Collier, one of the local brigade members.
This year the local community came out strongly in support of the challenge. “Training and getting to the top is one thing, but raising the amount of funds we did as a team for LBC New Zealand is the most important thing. And that couldn't have been done without the support and generosity of such an incredible community such as Whitianga. Thank you so much, everyone!”
Leukemia & Blood Cancer, New Zealand provides essential support for patients and their families,
as well as funding research into blood cancer and raising awareness and advocating for patients.
Pictured: Participants in the Sky Tower Stair Challenge which took place on Saturday, 20 August.
Back: Ian Cox, Angela Rennie. Front: Adam Collier, Karina Bergshoeff and Sean King.