Mitchell firefighter stair climb success

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Mitchell Shire group fire fighters who completed the Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb earlier this month, pictured back, from left, Christian O’Shea, Lewis Soulsby, Christopher Skala, Peter Comte, Tony Gooden, Nicole Rotherham, Henry Laurie, Katie Tur; and front, from left, Daniel Strutt, Jamie Duffy, Kylie Comte, Joel Baker and Cassie Capobus-Thorpe.

A Mitchell Shire squad of firefighters took out the top spot in fundraising efforts at this year’s annual Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb.

The September 2 event had firefighters scale 28 floors of Melbourne’s Crown Metropol while wearing up to 25 kilograms of firefighting equipment, with all 14 members of the Mitchell Shire group opting to tackle the climb either wearing their breathing apparatus or with it fully set up as it would be during a fire scenario.

The Mitchell group had set a fundraising goal of $25,000 ahead of the event but was successful in raising more than $30,500 for the 000 Foundation, Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation and Lifeline.

A total of more than $639,000 has been raised through the event so far.

Hilldene Fire Brigade firefighter and group coordinator Matt McLaughlin said the climb was a success and thanked everyone who contributed.

“We had all our stair climbers finish and place pretty well, which was good,” he said.

“It was really good that the local communities and businesses got involved, so big thanks to them. A lot were big businesses around Seymour and the Mitchell Shire area.”

Kylie Comte, Daniel Strutt, Marcus Jones, Christopher Skala and Joel Baker chose to compete in the ‘donned and started’ category, meaning they scaled the 28 storeys carrying 12 kilograms of breathing apparatus and 13 kilograms of structural firefighting personal protective clothing.

Mr Baker, a firefighter at Hilldene Fire Brigade, has raised $3467 at the time of publication – the highest for any Mitchell Shire group member.

Meanwhile, the fastest time up the stairs for the group was set by Clonbinane Fire Brigade’s Henry Laurie, who finished in six minutes and 25 seconds in the ‘donned only’ category.

“I was very proud, everyone did a good job and we’re just looking forward to doing it next year,” Mr McLaughlin said.

For more information and any further donations, visit www.firefighterclimb.org.au.

Featured image: Mitchell Shire group fire fighters who completed the Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb earlier this month, pictured back, from left, Christian O’Shea, Lewis Soulsby, Christopher Skala, Peter Comte, Tony Gooden, Nicole Rotherham, Henry Laurie, Katie Tur; and front, from left, Daniel Strutt, Jamie Duffy, Kylie Comte, Joel Baker and Cassie Capobus-Thorpe.