Tamworth Firefighters taking on Sydney Tower for MND

One step at a time: Jason Lee is part of the eight strong Team Tamworth taking on the 98 floors of Sydney Tower in the Firefighters Climb for MND. Photo: Gareth Gardner
One step at a time: Jason Lee is part of the eight strong Team Tamworth taking on the 98 floors of Sydney Tower in the Firefighters Climb for MND. Photo: Gareth Gardner

Eight Tamworth fire fighters are taking a combined 12 thousand steps towards beating Motor Neuron Disease, while hoping to raise 

The fourth Annual Fire Fighters Climb for MND is happening on October 20, and will see hundreds of firies from all over the country firing up to tackle all 98 stories, that is 1504 individual steps of Sydney Tower.

While that may seem like a tough enough assignment on its own, the selfless servicemen also have to be in full structural kit, including a 20kg breathing apparatus.

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While it is not technically a race, and there are no major prizes up for grabs, there is something much bigger on the line, bragging rights, according to West Tamworth Station’s Jason Lee.

Lee will be taking on the 820 foot vertical climb one step at a time alongside fellow Tamworth 508 and 452 firies Nathan Fitzsimmons, Pat Burrows, Daniel Jackson, Colin Ferguson, Ben Richards, Malachi Schofield and Benjamin Clifford.

“We wanted to do it last year but had some other commitments come up, so we all got together this year and decided to go down and make a weekend of it – and it is for a great cause, MND is a really terrible disease.”

Tamworth West firefighter Jason Lee

“This is the first time anyone from Tamworth will have done it,” Mr Lee said.

“We wanted to do it last year but had some other commitments come up, so we all got together this year and decided to go down and make a weekend of it – and it is for a great cause, MND is a bloody terrible thing.” 

Anyone that has been frequenting Anytime Fitness lately might have been in for a shock recently, with the team often down there hitting the stairmaster hard, including a few sessions in the full kit.

“We have been doing a bit of group training and we are going alright,” Mr Lee said.

“I reckon I am up there with the fastest of the Tamworth boys – I have been getting through the 1504 steps in about 18 minutes going flat out.

“Lucky for us there is a service lift at Sydney Tower that we get to come back down in.” 

While 18 minutes is a fairly decent effort to get up 98 floors, some of the best firefighters in the climbing game have managed to top the Sydney Tower in just over ten minutes in recent years.

“It is all about the bragging rights, it is not an actual race, but it is within the firies, bragging rights is everything,” Mr Lee said.

Team Tamworth are looking to raise a combined $15,000, with all proceeds going to the Macquarie University research centre, headed up by Professor Dominic Rowe.

That is $3000 for the team, and another $1500 individually, and have already been on the job raising plenty.

On Wednesday night the team hosted a raffle at the Southgate Inn, after local businesses donated an amazing $1300 in prizes, while there is also buckets to throw change in at a range of pubs and clubs around the region, and a few more fundraisers to come.

Motor Neuron Disease is a progressive terminal neurological disease with no known treatment or cure, and can strike indiscriminately regardless of how young, old, fit or healthy a person may be.

Every day in Australia two people die and two people are diagnosed with MND, and that figure is rising.

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