CFB Esquimalt firefighters Tristan Thomas (left), Keith Kershaw (Climb 2020 Team Captain), Alex Marshall, Jeff Clarkson, Mike Gordon climbed the wall in Vancouver for the BC Lung Association. (File contributed/ BC Lung Association)

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

More than 500 participants, including more than 300 B.C. firefighters climbed 48 storeys to help fundraise for the BC Lung Association.

The 19th annual Climb The Wall event saw participants race up the stairs of the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel to fundraise for the one in five British Columbians affected by lung or breathing conditions. These include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep apnea, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, pneumonia and cystic fibrosis.

ALSO READ: View Royal, Colwood firefighters to climb 48 storeys in full gear to support B.C. Lung Association

This year saw the largest turnout of firefighters yet, each who climbed in full gear, wearing an extra 50 lbs. This included a large turnout of Greater Victoria firefighters, including the veteran View Royal firefighters team which was one of the events top three fundraising teams, contributing $8,381.

CFB Esquimalt Fire Department and Colwood Fire Department were both first timers, with CFB Esquimalt ranking 10th in fundraising teams, collecting $2,610.

The fastest climber was Burnaby firefighter Craig Smith, who made the climb in six minutes, five seconds.

Amongst climbers was recently retired Assistant Fire Chief for the Esquimalt Fire Department, Steve Serbic, who climbed in honour of late Black Press Media reporter Keri Coles, who died of of advanced metastatic lung cancer in November.

READ MORE: Local firefighter to ‘climb the wall’ in honour of late Black Press Media reporter Keri Coles

“This was a standout year for our Climb the Wall event, in large part thanks to the enthusiasm of our key event partners, chief amongst them B.C.’s firefighting community,” said BC Lung Association CEO, Chris Lam in a statement. “The sense of community spirit in the room was palpable. I could see hundreds of sweaty, smiling faces around me, all there supporting one another. It was clear that something special was achieved.”

So far more than $125,000 has been raised, 50 per cent higher than 2019, with additional funds expected to come in in the next few weeks.

For more information visit stairclimb.ca.

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