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Firefighters climb The Bow in support of those with cancer

Last Updated May 5, 2019 at 1:46 pm MDT

The first group of firefighters get ready to go inside The Bow to climb 1,204 stairs. It was the 5th annual Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge in partnership with Wellspring Calgary. Devon McKendrick/660NEWS

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Wearing 45 pounds of gear, hundreds of firefighters made their way up 1,204 steps in The Bow for the fifth annual Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge.

The event is in partnership with Wellspring Calgary, a community-based network that provides support for those who are living with cancer.

Calgary Fire Chief, Steve Dongworth says firefighters from all over the world came to participate.

“We have nearly 600 firefighters from actually around the world here today [Sunday], U.S., Denmark, Canada of course, and New Zealand and Australia,” said Dongworth.

Dongworth has done the climb a few times and says it’s a very important event to be part of.

“The link between firefighters and cancer, and all of us and cancer is very profound — we all know someone or more than one person who has passed away from cancer, so anything we can do to help those people and their families through that journey is very important,” he said.

Patti Morris, executive director of Wellspring Calgary, says it’s also a great way to honour all the great firefighters, not only in Calgary but around the world.

“Firefighters who are such heroes in our community have a much-heightened risk of cancer as a result of their occupation, and so we also, through this event, like to draw attention to the heroic role that these firefighters play in our community and to help people understand they do it at sufferance to themselves,” said Morris.

The goal this year is to raise more than $400,000 and to donate head to wellspringcalgary.ca.