Firefighters Climb at #1 Fight for Air Climb in the Nation | American Lung Association

Firefighters Climb at #1 Fight for Air Climb in the Nation

(February 24, 2015)

  Firefighters - FFAC   

Brookfield, WI – Almost 200 firefighters and other first responders will engage in some friendly competition to help fight lung disease at the 7th annual American Lung Association in Wisconsin (ALA.W) Fight for Air Climb on March 21, 2015. 

In the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Firefighter Challenge, firefighters and other rescue workers race up 94 flights of stairs at the US Bank building in downtown Milwaukee while loaded down with up to 70 extra pounds of gear.  

While the teams predominantly represent fire departments throughout the state, the popularity of the event has grown to include other first responders, including several police departments and the Wisconsin National Guard.  

The teams compete against each other in three categories: fastest team score, fastest individual score, and highest fundraising team.

Linda Witucki, Executive Director of the ALA.W said, “Firefighters experience every day what it means to fight to breathe. They are such an important part of this event, and of our mission.” 

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin is the Fight for Air Climb’s presenting sponsor and the title sponsor of the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Firefighter Challenge.

“Things are shaping up for another exciting Anthem Firefighter Challenge,” said Dr. Michael Jaeger, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield senior clinical officer and Chair of the ALA.W Leadership Board. “A true highlight of the day, the firefighters and first responders take on the stairs in full uniform to remind us of how hard some people have to struggle to breathe, and to raise money to support health-improving research and programs. Their commitment to improving health is truly remarkable and we’re honored to have their participation grow with the event.”

Teams currently registered for the 2015 event are listed by county: 

Dane – Cambridge, Mount Horeb, Fitchburg, Maple Bluff, Sun Prairie
Dodge – Beaver Dam, Hartford
Jefferson – Palmyra
Kenosha – Somers, Town of Salem, Genoa City
Manitowoc – Manitowoc
Milwaukee – Milwaukee FD, Milwaukee Junior Fire Institute, SWAT Police, Milwaukee County FD, WI National Air Guard, 128th Air Refueling Wing, Greenfield FD, Hales Corners FD, West Allis FD, West Allis Police Department, Whitefish Bay Police Department, South Shore FD
Ozaukee – Mequon, Thiensville
Racine – Waterford, Town of Burlington, Union Grove, SC Johnson FD
Sheboygan – Black River, Sheboygan
Walworth – Bloomfield/Genoa City, Lauderdale/LaGrange, Lyons
Washington – Hartford, Richfield
Waukesha – Dousman/Oconomowoc, Eagle, Menomonee Falls, North Prairie, Waukesha

For more information on individual teams and links to their team pages, please contact MacKenzie O’Dwyer, (262) 703-4833. 

In 2013 and 2014, the Milwaukee Climb received the honor of being ranked #1 in the nation among Fight for Air Climbs, beating out much larger cities such as Denver, Chicago and Boston.   That distinction included both the total number of participants as well as the amount of money raised.  The 2015 is on track to maintain that #1 status with goals of 3,000 climbers, 418 teams (surpassed as of 2/23/15) and $700,000 in fundraising.

The 2015 Fight for Air Climb will take place at the US Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee on Saturday, March 21, starting at 7a.m. and continuing until all climbers finish.  To register, please visit  Registration fee is $25; an additional $100 fundraising minimum is required to participate.  

“Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is proud to support the American Lung Association and its programs,” said Dr. Jaeger.  “We’ve been a part of every Fight for Air Climb since the event started seven years ago, and are looking forward to seeing everyone take on the stairs on March 21.” 

About the American Lung Association: 

Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin:

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin (BCBSWi), which underwrites or administers the PPO and indemnity policies; Compcare Health Services Insurance Corporation (Compcare), which underwrites or administers the HMO policies; and Compcare and BCBSWi collectively, which underwrite or administer the POS policies. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin is available at Also, follow us on Twitter at, on Facebook at, or visit our YouTube channel at

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