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Firefighters climb steps for blood cancer
Clallam County Fire District 3 firefighters Troy Tenneson and Tyler Johnson raced up the 1,311 steps of Seattle’s Columbia Tower wearing 40 pounds of fire gear on March 6.
After 20 minutes Tenneson reached the top, sweating and short of breath. He knelt down for about 10 minutes to gather himself before taking the elevator back down.
Next year, they will do it again.
The two were among 1,500 firefighters who participated in the Scott Firefighter Stair Climb to raise money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Johnson said.
Last year the event raised a record $780,000 for blood-cancer research and patient services. This year’s numbers are not yet available but Tenneson said he raised $400 for the cause.
Tenneson said the event not only raises money for a good cause, but it’s also a way for firefighters to connect. The event is sometimes the only opportunity he has to see old friends from paramedic school, he said.
Tenneson participated in the climb last year as well and trained for it by running up and down the stairs in downtown Port Angeles 17 times, which is equal to 70 floors. This year, he did a few runs on the fire station’s stair climber, he said.
“My training this year was not up to par with last year and it showed,” he said.
There was a 2.5-minute difference between his time last year and this year, when he finished in 20 minutes, 19 seconds, he said.
Johnson said he finished in 20 minutes, 35 seconds and the fastest participant climbed the stairs in just 10 minutes, 52 seconds.
Johnson, who participated for the first time this year, said he hopes to get more firefighters from District 3 to join him and Tenneson next year.