FOUR local firefighters will participate in the 10th annual Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb on September 2.
Inverloch CFA’s Michael Guest, Matthew King, Hayden Tipping and Cesar Aldea will take on the 28-floor challenge at the Crown Metrapol.
To add to the effort, they will be wearing 25 kilograms of turnout gear – including a breathing apparatus – to raise money for Lifeline, 000Foundation and Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation.
The challenge simulates the actions required to enter a burning high-rise building, and the inclusion of the breathing apparatus is symbolic of the burden of significant health and wellbeing issues faced by first responders and their families.
The money will go towards improving support services, funding research, removing stigmas and raising awareness for mental health issues, including post traumatic stress injury.
There will be a total of 700 emergency service personnel involved in this year’s climb, with the goal of raising $700,000.
This year marks Michael Guest’s fifth stair climb, having supported the charity event with both the Inverloch and Ruby CFA.
He continues to proudly support the event each year to ensure the availability of appropriate crisis support.
“The charities we support change every year. Since 2017, there’s been a focus on supporting the mental health of first responders,” Michael said.
“They’ve also added the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation because there is a huge risk of cancer amongst firefighters.
“Our aim is to raise $1000 each. If every climber contributes that amount, we will reach our goal.”
Historically, the event has supported the Alfred Hospital Burns Unit, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the Black Dog Institute and the Emergency Services Foundation.
The charity event attracts emergency service representatives from across Australia, New Zealand and America.
On the day of the event, a 6am service is held to pay respects to Australian first responders.
A service is also held in honour of the lives lost during 9/11.
“The organisations we support help to support our first responders and their families. We can see where the money is going and we know that it helps,” Michael said.
In the lead up to the climb, the Inverloch team will be training at Inverloch’s Tomfit Training Facility.
Tomfit will be hosting a fundraising event for the team in August – date to be confirmed.
For all other donations, head to www.firefighterclimb.org.au/donations/donate/ and search for the team or individual.