If you had to climb the stairs of the Bow Tower in Calgary right now, do you think you could finish? What about in full Fire Fighter regalia adding nearly 100 Lbs extra?

The Okotoks Fire Department is committing two teams to the Calgary Stair Climb Challenge in a effort to fundraise for Wellspring Calgary. A charity that helps not only victims but also supports family members of those suffering from cancer.

The O.F.D will enter two teams into the competition, aptly named after two former volunteer captains who lost their battles with cancer, Capt. Darcy Smith and Capt. Rich Befus.

Team Smith will be lead by Squad Leader Ryan Kaiser, and Team Befus is to be lead by Kevin Murray.

Squad Leader Ryan Kaiser says when they do the stair climb they're going to be fully decked out in fire gear.

"So basically we're climbing 775 Vertical Ft. or 1205 stairs of the Bow Tower in Calgary on May 7." Kaiser adds "We'll be doing this in full bunker gear which is your firefighter pants, boots, jacket and helmet. The gear it self is about 40 Lbs.  Then to top it all off we also have an air pack on our backs that puts on another 30 Lbs."  

The Men and Women of the Okotoks Fire Department are supporting a cause very near and dear to their hearts, as firefighters have a much higher risk of getting cancer due to the carcinogens and chemicals they're exposed to in their jobs.

Kaiser says Cancer is a firefighters worst nightmare.

"There's more and more cancers that are being linked directly to fire fighting causes, the biggest ones would be both prostate and lung cancers" Kaiser says "even if you've never been a smoker firefighters are still ending up with much higher rates and severities of those cancers."

The Okotoks Fire Department are selling 50/50 tickets and accepting cash donations that will go directly into Wellspring Calgary.  

Kaiser says you can even get a tax receipt for your donation.

"If people want to donate and get tax receipts, they can donate directly to either the individual members or the team itself, you can go onto CalgaryStairClimb.com then search Okotoks Fire and both teams will come up."

Supporters can also donate by purchasing 50/50 tickets from the North Fire Hall at 132 Milligan Drive.

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]


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