Firefighters from Strathcona County recently participated in the Wellspring FF Stairclimber Challenge.
 
Earlier this month, the men donned their full firefighting gear and a breathing apparatus, which adds around 45 lbs, and climbed 57 stories — or 1,204 stairs — in a Calgary tower.
 
The fastest climber for Strathcona County was just under 14 minutes, placing him 23 out of 567 competitors. The top time was about 11 and a half minutes. 
 
"The challenge is to raise money for a charitable foundation called Wellspring Calgary," explained firefighter Lee Dombrosky. "They provide free programs and resources to support people who are affected by cancer, so they help people through diagnosis, treatment and what to expect."
 
Firefighters from across the world were invited to participate — some coming from as far as New Zealand. This year, the total amount of money raised was around $500,000, with $2,600 coming from the Strathcona County department.
 
The climb has been an annual event since 2015. Strathcona County has been a part of it since the beginning, originally only having two people compete.
 
"Hopefully next year, we'll bring some more out and raise some more money for (the charity)," Dombrosky added.
 
The entire climb was live-streamed on YouTube.