Celebrating its 19th year, the event is organized by the BC Lung Association and raises funds and awareness for lung disease. “A community of lung heroes are making a difference for the one in five British Columbians affected by lung disease,” says the group’s website.
Civilians, pro athletes, and firefighters all get involved. Participants partake in a 48-storey stair climb to the top of the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel.
This year, Revelstoke firefighters Glenn McTaggart, Amardeep Bal, Megan Cottingham, Leslie Blaszk and Mark Duncan participated. They raised just under $1900 for the BC Lung Association.
McTaggart and Blaszk both took part in 2019. Previously, McTaggart had told the Revelstoke Current that training in full gear, especially with the the Self Contained Breathing Apparatus, was very important.
“When you’re on air, it is a slightly shorter breath,” explain McTaggart in 2019. “You breathe in and have to wait for the regulator to give you air. It can feel a little claustrophobic.”
Though it adds another level of difficulty, McTaggart stresses its importance. “Training while using air and adapting your lungs makes you a better firefighter for the community in the event you ever need to respond to an emergency where using air is necessary. You get so used to it that it feels weird without it.”
Every participant posted impressive times. Cottingham took the award for’fastest female’ in the firefighter category and the fastest of the Revelstoke participants, finishing the climb in just under 10 minutes.