Sky’s no limit for brigade
Titahi Bay Volunteer Fire Brigade found the going tough at the recent Sky Tower Challenge, but their collective fundraising effort placed them in the top five in the country.
More than 400 participants from around New Zealand took on the lungbusting challenge on May 21, climbing 51 flights of stairs, or 1103 steps, in full gear that includes the firefighters’ big jacket and 25 kilograms of equipment.
The event raised more than $170,000 for the Leukaemia & Blood Foundation, with Titahi Bay’s efforts – through sponsorship, donations and even a car wash – contributing $5517.
They were fifth overall as a brigade, only $18 short of claiming top spot. Paul Setefano, from the Porirua station, was the second highest individual fundraiser, with $1961.
In his suit, with breathing apparatus on, Kurt Walsh was 121st in the race up the stairs, with a time of 17:33, while Carl Gardiner made it to the top in 20:53, putting him 158th.
Robbie MacInarlin, who competed in the race where breathing apparatus wasn’t required, finished in a time of 17:07, which placed him 44th.
In the masters section (40 to 55-yearsold), Glenn Henderson completed the gruelling climb in 16:07, for 32nd spot, while Setefano finished in 30:50, for 80th place.
Henderson says the support of the ‘‘good folks’’ of Titahi Bay and Porirua, along with Porirua Club and Titahi Bay RSA, made all the time they put in worthwhile.
‘‘It was absolutely fantastic to be a part of, well worth the trip to Auckland.
‘‘We put in a lot of hours but it paid dividends and we were ecstatic to finish fifth [fundraising]. We hope it’s going to be a regular thing and more members from the Titahi Bay brigade will do it next year.’’
Taking a breather: Members of the Titahi Bay Volunteer Fire Brigade try to catch their breath after completing the Sky Tower Challenge. From top left, Glenn Henderson, Kurt Walsh, Paul Setefano (Porirua), Des Morgan (Wellington Rural Firefighters) and in the front row, Carl Gardiner and Robbie MacInarlin.