Four members of the Drumheller Fire & Rescue participated in the third annual Firefighter Stair Climb Challenge at the Bow Tower in Calgary on May 7.
For the men’s 18 to 35 year old category, Kyle Smith placed 12th with a time of 0:13:49, and Mitch Smith placed 66th with a time of 0:15:41.
As for the men’s 51+ category, Capt. Merv Smith placed 5th with a time of 0:17:01, and Dep. Chief Duane Bolin placed 8th with a time of 0:19:46.
“We were expecting the worst but it actually came out a little better,” said Dep. Chief Duane Bolin.
The first-timers were able to keep a slow and steady pace at the beginning as to not lose all their energy by the end.
They continually practice their fire training and had been running stairs throughout the Telus Building during the winter months. The four also ran the ski hill a couple times in full bunker gear.
“The worst thing was that we don’t have a building that high to train in right,” said Bolin.
The Bow Tower has 1205 stairs whereas the Drumheller Telus building only has 100. The firefighters had to run the building up and down 12 times in order to prepare for the Bow.
“We were all concerned about doing all 1200 stairs non-stop,” said Bolin. “What is that going to be like?”
The event raised $3,345 in support of firefighters and citizens in the community fighting cancer.
It was hosted by the Calgary Firefighters Benevolent Society and was presented by Encana Corporation in support of Wellspring Calgary.
“You know the big thing is, it wasn’t really a race, it was a fun thing – good team event to train together and work together and the ultimate goal I guess was to raise money for the foundation,” said Bolin.
With 1205 stairs, they at least had an open view. Each floor had interesting architectural and elevation tidbits like how tall other buildings were.
“You’re actually overlooking the city of Calgary all the way up and it’s pretty cool that every floor had writing on the landing,” said Bolin.
After this first time climbing, others on the department are now interested in joining
“Definitely we had a few say that they were maybe going to try it next year so that’ll be good,” said Bolin. “Maybe two teams for next year to go and try it out.”
Bolin was appreciative of the support that came to help sponsor each firefighter individually or as a team.
“I’d like to thank everyone that sponsored our team,” said Bolin. “The real winners of it all was the foundation.”