Tackling staircases in an emergency is part of the job for Leeton Firies, but to climb more than 1500 steps is a whole other challenge.
Emma Tyrrell, Ben Boots and Kai Attree joined teams of firefighters from around the country to race up 1504 stairs or 98 floors of the Sydney Tower Eye – with 20 kilograms of gear – to raise money for MND research.
“We had done a bit of training, but it was still a struggle,” Ms Tyrrell said.
“Kai finished in 22 minutes, Boots in 23 and myself in 24. We had been training together, but they sent us up the staircase separated by 30 seconds because it was so narrow.”
Ms Tyrrell said she was in the middle but Boots caught up and they kept each other going.
“I didn’t really have a strategy for dealing with it,” she said. “They did have music throughout the climb at some stations, but for the most part we just went for it.”
The trio raised more than $13,000 for research to defeat MND.
“I didn’t realise it was going to be that much,” Ms Tyrrell said. “I was thinking it would be maybe $6000 and towards the end, I was adding up in my head and thought it would be $8000 or $9000. It was pretty amazing.”
Ms Tyrrell said she was amazed by the support of both the community and also her fellow firefighters.
“Our deputy captain came to most of our practice climbs,” she said. “We would like to thank our sponsors, supporters, families and the guys at the station.”
Right now, MND is fatal and there is no cure.
“I think I will do it again next year because it is such an important cause,” Ms Tyrrell said.