AT the culmination of months of planning and training, 98 storeys, 1504 stairs, and a vertical rise of 820 feet, wearing a full firefighting kit of over 20kg, their energy tanks were low, but their hearts were full.
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Port Stephens firefighter did their community proud when they fulfilled their goal of climbing Sydney Tower Eye, raising awareness and much needed funds for Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
We were represented by the Raymond Terrace Fire and Rescue ‘Team Underdogs’ and the Lower Hunter RFS team made up of members from Medowie Rural Fire Brigades, surrounding brigades and staff from district office – Isabel Rios, James Goodliff, Louise McClelland, Ade Rolfe, Fred Munoz, Alice Lavender, Kyra McGrorey-Clark, Amy LeMesurier, Darryl Luck, Brooke Lindsay, Aaron Lindsay, Ian Turnbull, Mitchell Everingham and Ken Hepplewhite.
Retained Firefighter Isabel Rios told News Of The Area, “The feeling on the ground was exciting, there was so much good positive energy in the air, it was electrifying.”
“It is truly humbling to be a part of something so incredibly big, special and personal to a lot of people.”
“This year was extra emotional for a lot of us, as Adam Regal, the man behind the inspiration and drive of the ‘Firies Climb for MND’ passed away this year from MND.”
“His legacy will continue to be carried on for many more years,” she said.
Retained Firefighter James Goodliff told News Of The Area, “I was pretty nervous leading into it because it’s such a massive tower, but we all made it and in the process we raised thousands of dollars for research into MND, which is fantastic.”
Alice Lavender from Medowie Rural Fire Brigade told News Of The Area, “As the climb drew closer, it started to affect me more.”
“At the first school bucket shake we had a lady donate who said ‘If there had been a cure 6 years ago my husband would still be here’, and at the school bucket shake last week, a lady, who had suffered progressive MND for the past 16 yrs, came to donate some of her own money, her comment was that it’s unlikely they’ll find a cure in her life time.”
“After completing the climb, I was tired, sore, proud, accomplished, but still emotional – reading the floor dedications of people lost to MND as I climbed became a little overwhelming at times but was a great reminder of why I was doing it,” she said.
Kyra McGrorey-Clark from Medowie Rural Fire Brigade told News Of The Area, “I carried a photo of my friends dad, who currently suffers with slow progressive MND, up the tower because he missed out on an opportunity to climb himself this year.”
“I was extremely emotional in the lead up to the climb itself, but having him with me pushed me to the top of that tower for sure.”
“I felt a mix of emotions; proud, accomplished, sad, happy, honoured, hungry and nauseous all at the same time.”
You can still donate to the cause to count towards this years tally by finding your favourite firefighter at firiesclimbformnd.org.au.
By Rachael VAUGHAN