Scott Safety Firefighter Stairclimb Raises $1.9M For The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

MONROE, N.C. (April, 2015): Scott Safety, a premier manufacturer of respiratory, PPE, and safety solutions for rescue teams around the world, sponsored the 24th annual Scott Safety Firefighter Stairclimb held Sunday, March 8th in Seattle, Washington. Firefighters from 26 states and 7 countries turned out in full bunker gear to climb the 69-flight course, raising $1.96 million for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.   ​

Firefighters line up to climb 1,311 steps of Seattle's Columbia Center Tower.

The sold out event — one of the largest stairclimb events in the world — provided an opportunity for a record 1,925 firefighters to climb 1,311 steps and 788 vertical feet to the top of Seattle’s Columbia Center Tower. Some 300 departments have been practicing for months for the challenge, which pits firefighters against one another as they race up 69 flights of stairs wearing approximately 70 pounds of protective gear and breathing apparatus.

Firefighters assembled at the foot of the Seattle landmark Sunday morning and the first firefighter entered the stairwell at 9 am, followed in 15-second intervals by competing climbers. Historically, climbing times average 20-30 minutes and winning stair climbers come in around 11 minutes. Competing firefighters race in full turnout gear—boots, pants, coat and liner, helmet, gloves and breathing equipment must be worn during the climb. The event is so strenuous that firefighters typically must change out empty oxygen bottles for full ones, since the competitors must use SCBA gear for the entire race. A bottle exchange area on the 40th floor gives teams the chance to replenish oxygen.

“The Scott Safety Firefighter Stairclimb is about strength, resilience, and commitment,” said Jeff Emery, director of marketing for Scott Safety. “We are so proud and honored to be part of such a worthy cause that embodies these characteristics. It’s what Scott is all about – protecting what matters most, whether it’s the men and women of the fire service fighting danger on a daily basis, or the child with lymphoma fighting for a future. It’s this passion for saving lives that we share with everyone involved in this event and it’s why we do what we do.”

First to the finish line was firefighter Andrew Drobeck, with a time of 10 minutes and 46 seconds. This is Drobeck’s fourth consecutive win. In 2012, he broke the world firefighter stair climbing record, climbing Seattle’s tallest building from bottom to top in 10 minutes and 38.2 seconds. Firefighter Michelle Croft from Columbia River Fire & Rescue was the top female finisher at 14 minutes and 54 seconds.  

Since its inception, Scott Safety has helped raise $10 million for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The funds are used to help treat patients with leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma, as well as improve the quality of life for patients and their families.

Final adjustments: Firefighters prepare to climb 788 vertical feet in full turnout gear.

Mission accomplished: This firefighter is all smiles after completing his climb.

Valley Regional Fire Authority (Auburn, WA) firefighter Matt Kinnee makes his way up the Tower’s 69 floors.

Scott Safety, a Tyco business, is a premier manufacturer of innovative respiratory and personal protective equipment and safety devices for firefighters, industrial workers, police squads, militaries, homeland security forces, and rescue teams around the world. With five global manufacturing locations, Scott products protect thousands of individuals each day from environmental hazards including smoke, toxic fumes, combustible gases, falling objects, and contaminants. The Scott product line includes self-contained breathing apparatus, supplied air and air-purifying respirators, PPE, gas detection instruments, thermal imaging cameras, and firefighter locators. For more information, visit

LLS is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to fighting blood cancer. The LLS mission—curing leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and improving the quality of life for patients and their families—is funded by the events including Team in Training, Light the Night Walk, School and Youth Programs, the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb, The Big Climb, Man and Woman of the Year Awards, Leukemia Cup Regatta and the Winter Pineapple Classic. The LLS Washington/Alaska Chapter is one of 60 local chapters across the U.S., with another 11 chapters in Canada. For more information, visit

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