Fire­fighter bank­ing on the tac­ti­cal ap­proach

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By ABBY BROWN

Af­ter com­plet­ing the Fire­fighter Sky Tower Chal­lenge last year, West­pac Mata­mata Branch em­ployee Lo­gan Char­ters- Leahy reck­ons he has learnt a thing or two which will give him an ad­van­tage when he steps up to the chal­lenge again in May.

‘‘I have learnt a few things. Train harder, don’t go crazy right at the start and pace is key,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s def­i­nitely an ad­van­tage know­ing how hard it will be, how­ever it’s not an easy event so you have to be pre­pared.’’

He is train­ing with four of his fel­low Ti­rau fire­fight­ers, in­clud­ing Dave Fisher, Tris­tan Saun­ders, Gerome Bar­doul and Jon McDer­mott.

Char­ters-Leahy is aim­ing to com­pete the 51 flights of stairs, which has 1103 in­di­vid­ual steps, in 25 kilo­grams of fire­fight­ing gear, in less than 16 min­utes.

The gear in­cludes a cylin­der that pro­vides oxy­gen to the breath­ing mask.

When Char­ters-Leahy and Fisher did the Mata­mata Tower Run re­cently some spec­ta­tors joked that the breath­ing masks gave them an un­fair ad­van­tage over other par­tic­i­pants. Char­ter­sLeahy said the mix of ni­tro­gen, oxy­gen, and ar­gon in the cylin­ders might look like they gave them an ad­van­tage but he said it didn’t pos­i­tively af­fect their per­for­mance. ‘‘It’s just heavy,’’ he said.

The team mem­bers are fundrais­ing by ‘‘ hit­ting up friends and fam­ily’’ and mem­bers of the public can do­nate at West­pac Mata­mata.

The 2015 Fire­fighter Sky Tower Chal­lenge will take place on May 23 as a fundraiser for Leukaemia & Blood Can­cer New Zealand.

Over 180 brigades, from around New Zealand, Australia and the USA, fundraised more than $915,000 to help the six Ki­wis di­ag­nosed with a blood can­cer ev­ery day at the 2014 event.

This year 750 fire fighters will race up the Sky Tower with the aim of rais­ing $750,000.

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