Bellevue firefighters to climb Seattle’s Columbia Center March 8


Fifteen Bellevue firefighters will climb Seattle’s tallest building – the Columbia Center, Sunday, March 8 in the annual Scott Firefighter Stairclimb.

The annual climb benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is recognized as the world’s largest individual firefighter competition. A record 1,500 firefighters from across the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Germany are entered in this year’s event.

Bellevue Fire’s team includes Brian Regalado, 28, Ted Erb, 37, Camari Ferguson, 44, and Warren Merritt, 50, all of Bellevue, Reese Cogdill, 24 of Lynwood, Nick Kramer, 24 of Issaquah, Jared Storer, 26, of Des Moines, Mark Pan, 27, of Kirkland, Rob Dykstra, 28, of Lynden, Andrew Schneider, 30, of Renton, Darren Rainey, 33, of Edmonds, Brian Snyder, 35, of Issaquah, Stephen, Sexton, 43, of Everett, and Mike Williams, 48, of Longbranch.

Ferguson is the only female firefighter on the team and one of just 128 competing in the event.

The climb raised over $530,000 in 2008 and has generated more than $2.1 million since its inception in 1992.

Clad in full bunker gear and breathing apparatus, collectively weighing about 50 lbs., firefighters ranging in age from 18 to 63 will sprint-climb 788 feet in vertical elevation (1,311 stairs / 69 stories) from the Fifth Avenue lobby to the 73rd floor observation deck of the 76-story Columbia Center. At 943 feet, about one-and-a-half times the height of Seattle’s Space Needle, the Columbia Center is the tallest building (by stories) on the West Coast and the 57th tallest building in the world.

In 2008, Seattle Fire Department’s Zach Schade, 41, climbed 1,311 Columbia Center stairs in 11 minutes, 37.20 seconds to capture his second consecutive Scott Firefighter Stairclimb title. The women’s title was won by Reno, Nevada’s Denise Little, 35, in 17 minutes, 34.5 seconds. Both are expected to climb in 2009. Top fundraising honors went to the City of Buckley Fire for the second consecutive year with over $38,784 in donations.

Sponsored by Scott Health & Safety, the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb is open only to firefighters. The climb gets underway at 9 a.m.

The event is the first of two stairclimbs benefiting LLS during March at Seattle’s Columbia Center. On Sunday, March 22, the public can tackle the same Columbia Center steps at the 23rd annual Big Climb, which also benefits LLS. To register for Big Climb visit