Jess’s tough climb
On May 23, 750 firefighters nationwide will climb 1103 steps, wearing 25 kilograms of gear.
Eleven teams from fire brigades around the Wellington region are competing in the Auckland Sky Tower Challenge fundraiser for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand.
Jess Anderson is one of two women at the Titahi Bay Volunteer Fire Brigade Service, and at 21, is the youngest of the brigade’s 17 members.
The paramedic student has been volunteering for the Fire Service for 10 months and is a first- time Sky Tower Challenge entrant.
She will be joined by five other members of the brigade.
‘‘It’s important because it’s a very physical and mentally draining job, so knowing what your body is capable of and pushing yourself to those limits is good, ‘‘ she said.
‘‘It’s also a really important cause. Because of what I do for a job and what I study, you see how [cancer] affects people’s lives.
‘‘I lost my cousin two years ago to cancer, so I’m doing it in memory of him, too. His wife will be waiting for me at the top.’’
The climb will be Tamati Kaa’s second time representing the Titahi Bay team.
‘‘ It’s a real tortoise- style race. The tortoise always wins, ‘‘ the 41-year-old said.
‘‘Imagine doing a hill walk to the town belt wearing the biggest, heaviest boots you can find with the type of clothing you’d normally go skiing in, with gloves and an oxygen tank on your back.
‘‘That’s basically what it’s like.’’
Titahi Bay has raised $2576, and the event has raised $146,000 of a $750,000 target.