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Three Forks firefighters don full gear and ascend nearly 70 floors in Seattle's LLS Firefighter Stairclimb

“Every day people are battling cancer and that is so much harder than anything we can experience in the stairwell.”
Posted at 5:41 PM, Mar 12, 2024

THREE FORKS — On March 10, hundreds of firefighters from across the country climbed to the top of Seattle's tallest building. Among those who participated were six firefighters from Three Forks. A brutal exercise they say, but well worth it—even while wearing over 35 pounds of gear.

“It’s not meant to be easy,” said Charles Eastty. “It takes perseverance and a lot of training to get through it.”

Since last fall, Training Captain Charles Eastty and five others on the Three Forks Fire Department have been getting their steps in on the Stairmaster in preparation for the annual Seattle Stair Climb, a fundraising event that benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“Every day people are battling cancer and that is so much harder than anything we can experience in the stairwell,” said Eastty.

1,356 steps and almost 70 floors up in the Seattle sky, Eastyy and his team trekked to the top of the Columbia Center in full gear, from mask to boots. This adds over 35 pounds of extra weight.

“The heat gets you,” said Eastty. “Our gear is designed to keep the heat out, keep the heat in, and it does a really good job at that, so staying cool and being able to perform in the stairwell is difficult.”

But ultimately, there were some good reminders along the way that motivated Eastty.

“There are pictures at the top of each flight of stairs of either someone who lost their battle with cancer or is still fighting,” said Eastty. “Seeing them gives you motivation to keep going.”

In less than 30 minutes, Eastty made it to the top.

As the six firefighters rolled back into town from Seattle, the community of Three Forks, was there to welcome them.

After all, Eastty says the community played a huge hand in helping them reach their goal. After months of fundraising, the Three Forks Fire Department raised $3,800 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Eastty says this is what the foundation of fire service is all about.

“Everyone who participated not only fights fire every day, but they go out of their way to support others,” said Eastty. “Fighting for them and raising money to hopefully cure blood cancer, it’s a great testament to the character of our firefighters nationwide.

If you would like to donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society visit: