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Sandy firefighters enter stair climb

Donations in the competitive event will benefit research of cystic fibrosis

Once again, some of the firefighters in the Sandy Fire District will join about 500 other Northwest firefighters in a physical activity that will benefit patients with cystic fibrosis.

The stair climb requires the firefighters to put on between 75 and 85 pounds of firefighting gear, including a breathing apparatus, and climb 40 stories in the US Bancorp building.

Naturally, it is a timed event, and there is competition involved between the participants.

This event, which occurs in the morning Sunday, Sept. 25, will raise money for research into the causes and cure for cystic fibrosis.

In the two previous years of this stair climb in Portland, the event has raised $186,000.

Five Sandy firefighters will participate, including Casey O'Donnell and Laurie Smallwood, who have both done stair climbs in previous years.

Also included in the quintet of Sandy's firefighting stair climbers are Dustin Yacapin, Jon Turcotte and Robert Oun - all three are first-timers at this event, which some use to improve their health.

Capt. Jason McKinnon, training officer for Sandy Fire, said '49 percent of on-the-job firefighter deaths are due to heart attacks.

That's a terrible statistic and one we have to focus on addressing through health, nutrition and exercise.'

Sunday will be a day of exercise.

For more information, visit the stair climb website at portlandstairclimb.com.