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Three Forks team headed to LLS Firefighter Stairclimb, fundraising event this week

Six members of the Three Forks Volunteer Fire Department will travel next month to participate in the 33rd annual LLS Firefighter Stairclimb at the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle.

A “Pint Night” fundraiser to assist with expenses for the trip will take place on Saturday, February 24, at the Sawdust and Steel Brewery located at 123 W. Elm in Three Forks. The event from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. will include craft beer, extinguisher training, trivia, and games. According to Team Captain Charles Eastty, the brewery will be generously donating $1 for every pint sold at the event, adding the TFVD will also be selling t-shirts and collecting donations for the climb.

“Come check out the fire trucks, have a drink, and meet some of your volunteer firefighters,” Eastty said.

Three Forks Volunteer Firefighters Charles Eastty, Cheryl Carrasco, Chase Moore, Trevor Aune, Josh Brigham, and Rachel Follett will participate in the event that raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). The local firefighters will ascend on Sunday, March 10, to the top of the fourth tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi River in full turnout gear weighing over 60 pounds while using a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).

In his first year at the event in 2023, Moore had a phenomenal time of 15:54, Carrasco finished at 23:49, and Eastty finished at 25:31.

Eastty told the Voice last year that climbing the Columbia Tower is one of the hardest things he’s done.

“We climb 69 flights of stairs, in full firefighter gear, on air. You might think that 69 flights with an added 60 pounds of gear is doable. But we are required to wear full firefighter structural gear that is designed to keep the heat out. Well, it also keeps the heat in. And if you add an SCBA (bottle and mask) on top of that, it can feel claustrophobic as your gasping for air that you can’t get enough of,” said Eastty. “The bottom line is it is a really tough event. But the reason we do it is because fighting blood cancer can be so much harder than what we experience in that stairwell. There are so many people battling blood cancer every day, and we do it for them. So that one day the LLS will find a cure and further blood cancer research.”

The Three Forks Firefighters will be among the 2,000 career, volunteer, or retired firefighters who will climb to the top of the Columbia Center.

“It is incredible to be a part of not only such a great event but to help make a difference in blood cancer patients’ lives. On the day of the event, we get to hear testimonies from blood cancer patients and how the research LLS has impacted their lives,” Eastty said in 2023.

Donations can be made online by going to http://www.llswa.org, clicking on firefighter stair climb, and looking up the Three Forks team.

 
 
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