Firies step up to the challenge

Firing up: Team members at Alpine/Aylmerton Rural Fire Brigade are participating in the Firies Climb for MND this October. Photo: Olivia Ralph
Firing up: Team members at Alpine/Aylmerton Rural Fire Brigade are participating in the Firies Climb for MND this October. Photo: Olivia Ralph

A team of firefighters from Alpine/Aylmerton Rural Fire Brigade have been training for the annual 'Firies Climb' for motor neurone disease (MND) in October. Deputy captain Izack Williams has enlisted four of his firefighting colleagues to join him on the climb after he participated last year. "A couple of mates were doing it last year from other brigades in the area and they got me on board," Mr Williams said. 

Kerrie-Ann Johnson said she had been training nearly every day to prepare for the 98-floor climb. "I've got a great brigade behind me, they've fitted me out with all my structural gear and everything to train in.”

The annual charity climb began in 2015 to raise money and awareness for motor neurone disease. Firefighters from all across the state climb 1504 stairs to the top of the Sydney Tower Eye in their full structural firefighting ensemble. So far more than $1.3 million has been raised with all proceeds going to research at Macquarie University.

Having done the climb last year, Mr Williams said the biggest challenge to prepare for was the heat in the stairwell. "It will be a gruelling challenge, however it is nothing in comparison to the challenge that patients with MND face every day," he said. 

The Alpine/Aylmerton station is the only firefighting team in the state which has both volunteer Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue members. "We work together really well, like the climb, it's all about giving back to our community," Ms Johnson said.

  •  Donations can be made to https://firiesclimbformnd.gofundraise.com.au/page/SouthernCoastalClimbers