The 2010 event
On 22 May, New Zealand fire-fighters smashed speed and fundraising records during the Firefighter Sky Tower Challenge in support of the LBF.
Once again, Paihia’s Volunteer Fire Brigade seized the fundraising trophy, for the fifth consecutive year, raising $24,000 and contributing to the record $193,000 raised for the LBF.
Airport Rescue Fire Auckland brought in an outstanding $20,000. Five brigades raised over $5,000 each including: Alexandra Volunteer Fire Brigade, Lyttelton Volunteer Fire Brigade, Arrowtown Volunteer Fire Brigade, Waipawa Volunteer Fire Brigade and Beachlands Volunteer Fire Brigade.
In its seventh year, the Firefighter Sky Tower Challenge has become a New Zealand tradition. The event attracted 424 fire-fighters, representing over 100 New Zealand brigades, as well as fire-fighters from Australia and the U.S.
The fire-fighters were joined by a very special group including: TV3 News Presenter, Hilary Barry; Chief Information Officer SKYCITY, Mike Clarke; LBF Executive Director, Pru Etcheverry; Chief Executive Officer Fidelity Life, Milton Jennings and Dave Howard who won the chance to participate on Trade me.
Racing up 51 flights - or 1,103 Sky Tower steps - wearing full fire-fighting kit and breathing apparatus weighing up to 25kg, the fire-fighters vie for the opportunity to claim fastest man, fastest woman and fastest team.
This year, Paul Gerritsen, from Remuera Station, was first finishing in record time at 9 minutes 35 seconds edging out last year’s fastest man by a few seconds (9.40). Fire-fighter Erin Gray from the Queenstown Volunteer Fire Brigade was fastest woman at 13 minutes 28 seconds, beating the 2009 time of 14 minutes 11 seconds.
The 2010 event, which sold out in a matter of weeks, was better than ever. Firefighters gained sponsorship for their efforts from their communities, friends and families. The event was sponsored by SKYCITY and Auckland Airport - with all the funds raised going to the LBF.
Pru Etcheverry, LBF Executive Director, says, “What an amazing opportunity to participate. I really enjoyed training with Hilary and running with our squad. I couldn’t have done it alone.” She says: “I have a renewed respect for New Zealand’s fire-fighters and what they do.”