Two Sicamous firefighters will take on an uphill battle this weekend to help those living with cancer.
On Sunday, May 7, long-time friends Dan Roddick and Jessy Horsfield will be taking part in the Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge in Calgary. As team “Time to Bail,” the two will be climbing the 1,204 stairs (775 vertical feet) of the Bow building in downtown Calgary, as fast as they can, while dressed in 60 to 80 lbs. of firefighting gear. The two are doing the event to fundraise for Wellspring Calgary, a place that provides free programs and resources to people who have been impacted by cancer and those who care for them.
A firefighter with the Sicamous Fire Department for two years before becoming a paramedic in Fort St. John, Horsfield said she learned about the Stairclimb Challenge from a friend whose father had died of cancer. She looked into the event, called Roddick and the two knew immediately it was something they wanted to participate in.
“I’ve always wanted to do something like this to help support people, something bigger than myself, something that can make a difference in people’s lives,” said Roddick who, when not working as a paramedic alongside Horsfield in Fort St. John, is in Sicamous where he is both a firefighter and lieutenant with the Eagle Valley Rescue Society.
Training for Horsfield and Roddick has involved stair machines and weighted vests, with the two working to keep the same pace. When in Sicamous, Roddick is able to train with his firefighting gear.
The two are optimistic about the unique challenge and by no means view it as a cakewalk.
“You’re walking into something that you know is going to be a lot of hard work, whereas a structure fire, there are various different protocols, you don’t think about it, you do what you’re trained to do, whereas you know this is going to be a challenge,” said Horsfield.
Roddick said completing the challenge is not a given, that every year there are teams that don’t make it. He and Horsfield at least know they’ll have each other to lean on along the way, and that there may be an elevator for the trip back down.
To support team Time to Bail with a donation, visit http://give.wellspringcalgary.ca/events/.