JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More than 450 racers, including 75 first responders, participated in this year’s 11th annual Fight for Air Climb in the Bank of America Tower in downtown Jacksonville.
The Fight for Air Climb is one of the American Lung Association's popular fundraising events. Racers climbed up 36 flights of stairs early Saturday. This year, over $118,000 was raised. Many of the top teams consisted of local firefighters who climbed in their bunker gear.
“To see them put all their gear on and keep going and climbing with 60 lbs of gear on, it’s definitely motivation for the community to see,” said David Armentrout, American Lung Association board member.
“Firefighters and first responders have a higher likelihood of lung disease because of the nature of their profession. They are exposed to chemicals and smoke and fire. It allows us to give back in a way and support those in our community,” added Karen Hughes with the American Lung Association.
Cecilia Brown is an engineer with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.
“The hardest part is your breathing. The cardio, all the heat gets trapped in your gear- even on a cold day like this,” Brown said.
The funds also benefit asthma education in the school system and support groups for adults with lung disease across North Florida. If you are interested in racing or climbing up the stairs, teams will start forming and practicing in the fall.
To donate, visit: Fight For Air Climb