Firefighters participate in Columbia Tower climb; shave heads to support sick colleague

  • Written by Jared Shoop, Duvall firefighter

(L-R) Firefighters Noah Foster, Bill Wisham, Sean Ansell, John Houlihan, Jared Shoop and Sonny Stewart. Not pictured: Ted Sittner and Matt Olander. The Duvall firefighters participated in the annual Columbia Tower climb to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Courtesy photo.
Eight Duvall firefighters climbed Seattle’s tallest building Sunday, March 10, in the Scott Firefighter Stair Climb.

The event raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Washington.  Firefighters climb 69 flights of the Columbia Tower in full firefighting protective gear, breathing compressed air.

In all, the gear, air pack and associated equipment weighs over 50 pounds.  It was the event’s 22nd year; over 1,500 firefighters from across the world climbed the tower and raised well over one million dollars for the fight against blood cancers.

The event hit close to home for Duvall’s stair-climb team as a former Duvall firefighter was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma this year. He is fighting the good fight, with a positive prognosis. Team members taped a picture of their sick friend to their helmets for the climb.

Duvall stair climb members held a “shave off” at the fire station two days before the event in a showing of solidarity for their sick brother firefighter. Teri of the Duvall Barber Shop volunteered her time for the team “shave off.” She made the event a joy, and kept the crowd of onlookers engaged and laughing with her charismatic personality.

The team is already looking forward to next year’s climb.

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