Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb: Horsham members line up to tackle challenge

CLIMBING up 28 floors is no easy task for anyone, let alone someone carrying 25 kilograms of equipment.

But that’s exactly what Horsham Fire Brigade members will do next month to raise money to fight depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide.

Eleven members will join about 650 firefighters from across the state to compete in the Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb at the Crown Metropol Hotel on September 1.

Horsham brigade captain John St Clair said members had taken part in the past few events.

“One of our members saw it advertised. There was a general discussion about it and we wanted to support it,” he said.

“A lot of our guys compete because we've either had family or know someone who has faced post-traumatic stress disorder or suicide.

“We’ve had roughly 10 people do the climb in past years.

“We wear our structural turnout gear and a breathing apparatus on our back, and run up 28 flights of stairs.”

Mr St Clair said it was not a competition between brigade members to see who could conquer the challenge fastest.

“It’s more about encouraging everyone, to ensure everyone does finish,” he said.

The Crown Metropol Hotel in Melbourne. Picture: FAIRFAX

The Crown Metropol Hotel in Melbourne. Picture: FAIRFAX

“We all get up there, but by the time you get up the top you're exhausted – you can barely stand.

“Some of the fitter guys can do it in about three minutes. Other guys take about six minutes.”

Mr St Clair said people could visit the Horsham Fire Brigade’s fundraising page to donate to the cause.

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