On March 11, 2018, 9 members of the Valley Regional Fire Authority participated in the 27th Annual Scott Firefighter Stairclimb. Held at the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle, this event is the world’s largest on-air Stairclimb competition event. The competition raises money to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. VRFA placed 64th out of 200 teams.
To successfully complete the competition, a climber must race up the 69 flights of stairs and 1,356 steps, a 788 feet vertical elevation, to reach the observation deck. This climb, done in full structural turnout gear while on-air, is symbolic of what cancer patients endure. Though the climb is strenuous in its own right, it pales in comparison to patient’s taxing journey.
Racing to the Top
The top three competitors on VRFA’s team reached the top of the Columbia Center in under 20 minutes. The first place finisher for VRFA, Firefighter Ryan Simpson of Station 31, finished the climb in 16:24minutes. Second place on the VRFA team was Firefighter Travis Schade of Station 32, finishing in 18:20 minutes. The third fastest was Firefighter Ryan Shervanick of Station 31, who finished in 19:47 minutes. You can watch Simpson cross the finish line in the stair climb live stream by going to minute mark 1:22:23.
Most of the other VRFA team members finished the climb in under 30 minutes or less. The team members are: Jerry Montiel, training division (21:31min); Scott Masters, Station 31 (24:12min); Gary Barker, Battalion Chief over all stations (25:14min); Darrel Normandy, Station 31 (27:49min); Matt Kinnee, Station 38 (31:43min); Cory Wallace, Station 32 (2:10:55min).
The 2018 overall winner of the Stairclimb competition was Steve Potratz-Lee of the Pullman Fire Department, with a climb time of 10:55 minutes. Official results and competition photographs of the event are available for view on the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb website.
Currently, the VRFA team has raised $11,600 in donations. Donations can be made until the end of March. Donations to the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb are tax-deductible and can be made online at the VRFA team page.