Medford firefighters learned on Thursday the annual LLS Firefighter Stairclimb in Seattle was postponed due to concerns about the coronavirus. This is an event that brings some 2,000 firefighters from around the world together to climb 69 flights of stairs at the Columbia Center – the second tallest building west of the Mississippi.
The event is to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Captain Jon Peterson of Medford Fire-Rescue says a group from the agency goes every year. Many go to support friends and family who have died from these diseases or are currently battling them.
But he says everyone understands the health concerns and no one wants to put more people at risk of contracting the virus.
“You know guys are bummed. They train all year round for this and we’re prepared and ready to go but they completely understand what’s going on,” said Peterson.
While the climb has been put on hold till further notice, firefighters who were planning to attend have already raised nearly three million dollars for the society. Over $20 million has been raised since the stairclimb began.
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.