Firefighter banking on the tactical approach
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.