THREE Mornington fire fighters will participate in the ninth annual Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb.
The stair climbing challenge, held at the Crown Metropol, raises money to fight depression, PTSI and suicide.
The Mornington fire station is currently the second highest fundraising brigade for the event and team members are hoping to take it further.
Chris Davey, 33, is the only one of the trio who has completed the stair climb before but is confident all three will make it to the top.
Hoping to better his own previous time of around 4.5 minutes, Davey says he has been putting some extra cardio work into his regular gym sessions and psyching himself up for the challenge.
“I’ve been doing all the right things, watching what I eat, following the training program, so I hope to better my time,” he said.
“We are all at various levels of fitness, but I have no doubt we will get there.”
Alongside 600 firefighters and emergency service personal, the trio will climb the 28 floors wearing 25kg of turnout gear and breathing apparatus.
Liam Sinfield, who will attempt the challenge with Davey and first timer Scott Gordon, said mental health and PTSD was “close to the heart” for many emergency workers.
Although admitting the challenge sounded tough, Sinfield said he was “excited rather than nervous”.
Since it started in 2014, the climb has raised almost $3 million for charities including the Alfred Hospital burns unit, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Murdoch Children’s Research Centre, Lifeline, Black Dog Institute, Emergency Services Foundation and 000Foundation.
This year climb organisers aim to raise $600,000 for Lifeline, Fortem and the 000Foundation, to improve support services, finance research, remove stigmas and raise awareness of mental health issues.
More than 65,000 Australians attempt to take their own lives each year, with rates in Defence, emergency services and protective services higher than other occupations.
To support the Mornington team’s fundraising efforts, go to firefighterclimb.org.au/station/cfa/mornington/