For the past three years in the month of September, firefighters from around the Pacific Northwest, including several from Portland Fire & Rescue, trade stair-steppers for the real steps of the US Bancorp Tower in downtown Portlandfor the annual Portland Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge.
Wes Loucks, a retired Portland Fire & Rescue Firefighter of 32 years, and his wife Belinda founded the Portland Firefighter Stairclimb when both of their young grandsons were born with CF. The stairclimb directly benefits the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation and research efforts.
The Portland Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge is sponsored by Leatherman, Portland Fire Fighters Association Local 43, and the International Association of Fire Fighters and attracts firefighters to Portland from as far away as Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. Firefighters are outfitted in over 70 lbs. each of full "combat gear" including Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) commonly used in the line of duty. Racers vie for men's and women's titles in individual competition. Team titles are also awarded based on the combined time of the team's fastest racers.
In addition to a competitive 40 floor, 800 step ascent of the US Bancorp Tower, firefighters also compete to raise funds in the battle against CF. In 2011, firefighters representing over 50 fire agencies finished thePortlandclimb and raised over $102,208 for CF research.
Portland Fire & Rescue firefighters who competed in the stairclimb challenge in 2011 were the second highest fundraising organization, bringing in $7,537. The top fundraising department was Cowlitz County Fire District 2 with $11,092.00.
Because PF&R was one of the top ten fundraisers in 2011, our organization is being highlighted on the official Portland Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge website at http://www.portlandstairclimb.com/top-10-fundraisers.
Please visit the website and learn more about the stairclimb, cystic fibrosis, and the upcoming fourth annual stairclimb event on Sunday, September 23, 2012.
About Cystic Fibrosis
More than 30,000 children in American have CF, an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food. In the 1950s, few children with CF lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s, and beyond.
Portland Fire & Rescue
We Respond: Always Ready, Always There
February 9, 2012