Missoula City Firefighters Take Top Two Spots in Seattle Firefighter Stair Climb Challenge
On Sunday, out of nearly 2,000 firefighters from across the country, Missoula City Fire Department fireman Andrew Drobek took the fastest time at the Scott Seattle Firefighter Stair Climb Challenge, with fellow city fireman Ben Brunsvold right behind.
The 34 year-old Drobek climbed the over 69 stories of the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle in 10 minutes and 43 seconds, while Brunsvold, 30, finished the climb in 11 minutes and 18 seconds.
"You have to wear all your full turnout gear that you'd use for a structure fire," Drobek began. "That includes your breathing apparatus which is compressed air, and all that gear weighs between 35 and 45 pounds. Officially, it's 69 stories, but the first two stories are about twice the height of a normal story, so it ends up being a little more than that."
Drobek has a unique method of climbing, in that he takes two steps at a time.
"There's not very many guys that can do that, maybe the top 10 or so, and then you can grab both railings and pull yourself up," Drobek continued. "The speed is about 80 counts per minute, which is more than one step every second, which comes out to about 10 seconds per floor.:
Drobek said the other 1,800 firefighters, both male and female, are all business preparing for the climb, but when they reach the top, each one is cheered and congratulated by staff and volunteers of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, for which almost $2 million is raised each year by participating teams.
After winning the event for the fifth time, Drobek is taking it easy back in Missoula. He told KGVO News he was just hopping on his bike...for a relaxing 80 mile ride.