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Firefighters a hit with youngsters

Flagstaff Team

Young recruits…Dan Brady shows off the Devonport fire-engine hoses to Chelsea (9) and Levi (5) Fowler

Devonport firefighters are in training for a charity run to the top of the Sky Tower next month. A team from the fire station got a head start in fundraising for the event at a recent weekend display on the Devonport waterfront.

Families turned up to a fire engine parked at the edge of Windsor Reserve and watched the crew take turns training on a treadmill while wearing 25kg of gear.

Devonport volunteer senior firefighter Dan Brady, who is a veteran of around a dozen Sky Tower climbs, said donations from the public had raised $958 for the charity Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC NZ).

Among those who popped down to show support was Devonport woman Sandra Russell, with her grandson, Asher Cullen.

If the helmet fits… Firefighter Olli Barnfather with (from left) David (2) and Stefan (11) Konoplenko and Harvey Guo (4)
Cabin fever… and Ethan (6) and dad Matthew Barrett, above, check out a fire engine

Russell, who suffers from myeoloma and had just got out of North Shore Hospital a few days earlier, said she had been helped out over the years by LBC NZ. Like many other organisations, it was finding funding difficult due to the impacts of Covid-19.

Fire-crew members ran on the treadmill for up to half an hour while wearing full uniform and heavy oxygen gear.

Volunteer firefighter Phil Claxton said top performers in the 328-metre Sky Tower climb up 51 flights of stairs could crack 10 minutes.

The Bayswater local and software-company worker has been a volunteer firefighter for around 10 years. “It’s a bit of a fitness thing and you feel like you’re doing something for the community.” As well as attending call-outs, volunteers trained for two to three hours each Monday.

The SkyTower event is being held on 22 May. Since the wharf display, Brady said donations had continued to come in, including a generous $500 from Devonport Electrical.

Anyone wishing to support the effort could go to https://firefighterschallenge. org.nz/dan-brady

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