Published Friday, March 11, 2022

This post is dedicated to Seattle Firefighter Matt Runte, who passed away unexpectedly this year and is remembered because of his participation in this event (among others). When we met Matt, we were in the Seattle Fire Buff Society. Matt reminds us how fun but important this fundraiser is for all participating Firefighters and how they are making an impact in the blood cancer world aiding the non-profit organization, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Thank you, Matt, for your inspiration in remembering your super energized personality, tireless efforts, and bringing light to everyone.

This dedication to you is because of your big personality and being so excited during this Stairclimb. This memory will be forever etched upon my mind and soul and how awesome you were in making a difference in everything that you did, just like your brothers and sisters do today and will forever do. – Ed.

* * *

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (USA) – American Firefighters will join together from the northwest, west coast, midwest, east coast, and around the globe in helping stomp out blood cancers through fundraising through this year’s 31st Year Annual LLS (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) Firefighter Stairclimb event, which will be held this Sunday, March 13, 2022.

Your Donations Save Lives

(c) NWFB

LLS is a non-profit organization based in the northwest and has worked directly with northwest firefighters those fundraising efforts by Firefighters, have reached over $20,000,000 since the inception of the event in 1991.

All donated funds are tax-deductible. Check with your Finance Advisor for details on how you can claim these on your taxes.

Raising Funds for Blood Cancers

The fundraising campaign is a highlight in any firefighter’s life, when they jump at the opportunity to do two specialized operations, one, helping raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (NW Chapter), the largest known health organization specializing in finding cures, funding cancer research, helping provide compassion, support, and education which is a lifeline for many.

Since the inception of the LLS Firefighter Stairclimb, firefighters have raised over $20,000,000! All funds are tax-deductible. After not being able to officially “climb” in the last two years due to COVID, this year’s event has over 1,500 firefighters signed up for this big event.

Since 1949, LLS has invested almost $1,300,000,000 in leading-edge research and with the involvement of today’s forward-looking new ideas and methods, bringing to light compassion, hopefulness, education, and support. Currently, as of March 9th, firefighters and their teams have raised 82% of their $2,000,000 goal with a total raised amount of $1,641,340. There is still time to donate to your favorite Fire Department team. Go to the main site: and type in your choice of Fire Department name or go to your favorite FD by visiting them on their Facebook page. Many have the LLS website fundraiser page embedded on their social media channels.

These are important attributes for a caring environment and are well-appreciated for those impacted.

Firefighters Gear Up

Firefighters wearing approximately sixty pounds of extra weight (wearing helmet, turnout gear, air bottle, etc.) will “climb” up 69 flights to the top floor, approximately 1,356 steps and with an elevation of 788-feet will feel a difference as they ascend through the different levels.

A Grueling Course

This “climb” will be an extremely energy-draining course they will endure, but firefighters everywhere have expressed this is much easier to do than for a patient who has blood cancer. The average “climber” will take just thirty minutes to reach the Sky View Observatory on the 73rd floor.

Firefighters will “train for this stair climb through various extreme rigorous programs they have instilled among themselves and through some of their fundraising campaigns at various venues. This will definitely be no easy feat but they will be ready for the “climb” when they arrive at the event in a few short days.

Along the course, there will be time for those who need to take a “breather” and volunteers staffing water stops at six locations throughout the stairwell. EMTs will also be staffing the water stops and Medics will be at the Bottle Change area and on the top floor which is the same as the finish line. Firefighters will be provided with lots of water and a perfect 360* view from the top of the Columbia Tower, overlooking beautiful and spectacular moments of accomplishment. Participants will take elevators back down to the lower levels, where firefighters will be rehabbed with healthy (recovery) snacks and rehydration. They will rejoin their fire department teams.

To find out your team’s or individual firefighter competitor’s ending results, visit the LLS site at for details.

The Columbia Center is located at 700 – 4th Avenue, Seattle, Washington.

Please Help Them Raise Money for Research

“We all remember that every step forward is representative of moving closer to a cure. Please consider making a donation to not only help us achieve our personal fundraising goal but to benefit patients and their families everywhere.” – Stairclimb Firefighters

Fundraising Will Help Others

All funds raised are used to fund research around the world to provide free education and support services. They are truly the compassionate representative for all blood cancer patients who are longing for excellent, reasonably priced, and unmatched care. Unable to donate to this event? Visit the LLS website at for more great work these amazing heroes do on the front lines and behind the scenes.

Current Status Updates

Updates from various teams on how to donate via their link, team information, stats, and events as they prep themselves for this “race of a lifetime” will be added over the course of the before, during, and after the event.

Due to space limitations, no friends and family are allowed unless participating as volunteers.

Photos in this post are from previous events we visited and covered.– Ed.

Fire Departments in today’s post are just a few of the many participating in this event.

Washington Fire Departments | Airway Heights FD, Anacortes FD, Bellevue FD, Benton County Fire District 4, Boeing Fire, Bothell FD, Bremerton FD, Buckley FD, Burien / North Highline Fire, Burlington FD, Central Kitsap Fire, Central Mason Fire, Central Pierce FR, Chehalis FD, Chelan Co FD1, Chelan FR, Columbus FR, Darrington Fire, Douglas County FD2, Douglas Okanogan FD15, Duvall Fire / KCFD 45, East Pierce Fire, Eastside FR, Enumclaw FD.


Credit: BFD

TWENTY firefighters will “race” to the top of the Columbia Tower on Sunday, March 13, 2022, during the 31st Annual LLS Firefighter Stairclimb event. Amazing work by these female and male firefighters who raised a whopping $17,744! Nice work y’all!

BOEING (IAFF Local I-66)– THIRTEEN Boeing Firefighters will be representing their 104-year old union in the name of raising funds for blood cancer research and helping save lives as they have successfully done all of these years. These amazing firefighters who have raised $13,450 of their $50,000 minimum fundraising goal will continue to accept additional donations. Visit them on their social media channels to see how you can donate and support this important cause. Team Captain: Marnie Fox.

Washington Fire Departments | Everett FD, GCFD3, Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One, Graham Fire, Granite Falls Fire, JBLM, Kennewick FD, King County FD20 (Skyway), Kirkland FD, Kittitas County FD7, Lacey FD3, Leavenworth FD, Lewis County FD6, Longview FED, Lopez FD, Maryville Fire District, Mason Co FD11, Mason Co FD4, Mercer Island FD, North County RFA, North Kitsap FR, North Mason RFA, North Olympic Firefighters.


Credit: Bothell FD


SIX members will participate in the Stairclimb. They have currently reached their $5,000.00 minimum goal but are pushing harder to reach their second goal of $10,000.

Next Training/Fundraising Event: Bonney Lake Fred Meyers, Friday, 3/11/2022, 10am – 2pm.

Credit: EPFF IAFF3520

Washington Fire Departments | Northshore FD, Okanogan Co FD6, Olympia FD, Orcas Island FR, Paine Field FD, Pasco FD, Pierce Co FD13, Port Ludlow FR, Port of Seattle FD, Poulsbo FD, Puget Sound RFA, Pullman FD, Redmond FD, Renton RFA, Richland FD, Seattle FD, Sedro Woolley FD, Shoreline FD, Skagit Co FD8, Snohomish Co FD5, Snohomish RFA, South County Fire, SKFR, South Whatcom RFA.


15 members will participate in this year’s event. These firefighters have an amazing “climbing” stair climb event history of a whopping 15 years! As of date, they have raised $26,373, which they are considered to be one of several of the top 10 highest fundraisers. Money raised will be used for blood cancer research and helping many impacted by this disease. What an amazing accomplishment!

Washington Fire Departments | South Whidbey Fire / EMS, Spokane CO FD3,4,9, Spokane FD, Spokane Valley FD, Stevens Co FD1, Sunnyside FD, Tacoma FD, Tukwila FD, Tulalip Bay FD, Valley RFA, Vashon Island FR, Walla Wall FD4, West Pierce FR, Woodinville FR, Yakima Co FD5, Yakima Fire Local 469.


Alaska | Chugiak FD, Houston FD, Valdez FD.

BC | Burnaby FD, Edmonton FR.

California | Anaheim FR, Apple Valley FPD, Big Bear FD, CAL FIRE – Riverside, SLO County, Chico FD, Corona FD, Costa Mesa FR, Estacada FD69, Fremont FD, LA County FD, Laguna Beach FD, Merced City FD, Modesto FD, Murrieta FR, Riverside FD, Salinas FD, San Bernardino County FD, San Jose FD, Santa Clara County FD, Palm Beach Gardens FR, Riverside FD, Riverside RFA, Sacramento FD, Salinas FD, San Mateo FD, Santa Monica FD.

France Fire

Hawaii | Honolulu FD.

Idaho | Boise FD, Caldwell FD, CDA FD, Kuna FD, Moscow Volunteer FD, Lewiston FD, Meridian FD, Nampa FD, Pocatello FD.

Minnesota | Tracy Fire.

Montana | Billings FD, East Helena VFD, Gore Hill FR, Helena FD, Hyalite FD, Missoula City FD, Missoula Rural Fire District, West Helena Valley VFD.

Nevada | Carson City FD, Reno FD, Las Vegas FR,

Ohio | Dayton FR.

Oregon | Baker City FD, Bend FD, Canby FDistrict, Coos Bay FD, Cornelius FD, Crook County FR, Crooked River Ranch FR, Eagle FD, Eugene Springfield FD, Forest Grove FR, Grants Pass FR, Hillsboro FD, Jackson County FD5, Junction City FR, Keizer FD, Klamath Co FD4, La Pine Rural FPD, Lane Fire Authority, McMinnville FD, Medford FR, Portland Fire, Molalla FD, Newport FD, Salem FD, Scappoose RFD, Sisters FD, Sunriver FD, Tualatin Valley RF / Local 1660, Umatilla Co FD1, Woodburn FD.

Pennsylvania | Harrisburg FD.

Tennessee | Memphis Fire.

Utah | Salt Lake City FD.

Virginia | Fairfax County FRD.


(c) 2022 NW Fire Blog