Etcetera - 03/18/11

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Local firefighters made respectable showings in the individual and team competitions during the 20th annual Scott Firefighter Stair Climb Challenge March 6 in the Columbia Tower in Seattle.

That's 69 floors, 1,311 steps and 788 vertical feet of physically demanding hustle for firefighters loaded to the max with their gear. It takes place in the second-tallest building west of the Mississippi.

Billed as the world's largest firefighter competition, the men and women tested their stamina while raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

So far, Walla Walla Fire District 4 has raised $8,115 and monetary donations may still be made through March 31.

WWFD has also raised funds, but the results were unavailable at press time. Fundraising is open through end of month.

Firefighters don full combat gear while breathing air from their air packs. This adds up to 50-60 pounds of non-heat dissipating weight, said Phil Tonn with Walla Walla Fire District 4.

Of the 20 local firefighters who competed, 11 came from Walla Walla County Fire District 4, seven from Walla Walla Fire Department and one each from College Fire Department and Walla Walla County Fire District 6. They could compete solo or in teams of at least three members.

Walla Walla Fire Department was 20th overall and Walla Walla Fire District 4 was 44th overall out of 281 fire departments from around the world.

Top local individual results are: Phil Tonn, WWFD4, 11th overall with a time of 13:15 out of 1,550 firefighters registered; Javin Berg, 19th, 13:51, WWFD; and Anthony Spada, 112th, 15:43, WWFD.

Phil also provided a summary of age bracket top results starting with age and gender 18-25, 25-30, 30-35 (every 5 years to age 65): Phil Tonn, second in age division with time of 13:15, WWFD 4; Javin Berg, first in age division, 13:51, WWFD; Anthony Spada, 21st, 15:43, WWFD; Tania Nelson, seventh, 34:24, WWFD 4; Emilee Hendrickson, ninth, 31:23, WWFD 4; Lacey Ammons, 16th, 36:08, WWFD 4; Lance Groom, 31st, 18:18, WWFD 4; Paul Henline, 72nd, 17:21, WWFD; Rocky Eastman, 11th in chief's division, 19:10; WWFD 4. Mark Notaras, a Walla Walla resident who works for Bothell (Wash.) Fire Department, placed 60th overall and second in his age division with time of 14:57. Full results for the stair climb are at www.firefighterstairclimb.org

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or 526-8313.

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