Fitchburg Firefighter Kevin Kelm, climbed the 47 stories of the US Bank Center building in Milwaukee on Saturday, March 21. The building was host to the annual Fight for Air Stair Climb, where participants raise research money for lung related cancers and other conditions.
There are several team categories participants can climb under, however there is one category geared towards firefighters; The Anthem's Firefighter Challenge. This category takes the event to a whole new level by having firefighters from all over Wisconsin climb the 47 story building in full firefighter turnout gear and SCBA, which is roughly 40 to 60 lbs.
Over the last 4 years, Kelm has participated in the event. Kelm's reflected on the event: "I must say each year is just as grueling as the last. However, knowing you're doing it for a good cause, and the feeling you get when you made it to the top is one of the most gratifying experiences in the world."
This year he completed the climb in 13:25! With this time he ranked #70 out of 242 firefighter participants. While it is not his fastest time, he is very proud of the fact that he has improved his time during each event.
"It doesn't matter if you do the climb by yourself, or with a team. Everyone is there for the same goal, and that makes the event and meeting firefighters from other fire department that much more fun. Speaking of goals, the American Lung Association's goal for the Fight for Air event this year is $700,000, and after the Milwaukee event they are currently at $688,000."
Kelm raises all of the necessary funding to participate on his own and receives no financial support from the City of Fitchburg.
For more information on the Fight for Air Stair Climb in Milwaukee, visit http://www.fightforairclimb.org/ or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FightForAirClimbMilwaukee