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Firefighters Climb Tower for Trophy, Raise Funds for a Personal Cause

(January 30, 2018) -

For more information please contact:

James Martinez
[email protected]
(312) 445-2501

This March, hundreds of Wisconsin Firefighters, police officers and other first responders will scale the tallest tower in the state carrying 50 - 75 of gear for the 10th annual Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield Firefighter Challenge, announced today by the American Lung Association in Wisconsin.

The Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield Firefighter Challenge will take place on March 10 during the Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb at U.S. Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee. For the challenge, teams of five or more firefighters will compete for the title of the fastest fire department along with top fundraising team. The teams are required to climb in full gear – helmet, mask, boots and air tank – which can add 50 – 75 pounds of weight as they tackle the 47 floors and 1,034 steps of the U.S. Bank Center building.

The Fight for Air Climb is a way for fire departments to stay in shape and bond as a team, but also to support a cause that hits close to home.

“On a daily basis, firefighters are exposed to smoke, gasses, chemicals, particle pollution and other pollutants that make them at much higher risk for lung disease,” said Paul Nobile, president of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in Wisconsin. “This challenge helps raise awareness for firefighters facing lung disease and gives us a chance to watch and applaud their strength and perseverance.”

Last year, 254 firefighters from 44 fire departments across Wisconsin participated in the Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield Firefighter Challenge. As of January 25, there are already 141 firefighters comprising 37 teams signed up for the event.

Here are some facts about the Firefighter Challenge:

  • Sheboygan Fire Department won the challenge in 2017 with an average time of 8:17.
  • In 2017, the fastest firefighter was Ryan Kundert of the Fitchburg Fire Department, with a time of 7:15.
  • Laura Prom from Madison Fire Department was the fastest female firefighter with a time of 11:19 last year.
  • West Allis Fire Department has won the Challenge six out of the last nine years.
  • Eagle Fire Department’s team captain Chuck Roberts was the #1 top fundraising individual firefighter in 2017, singlehandedly raising $6,020.
  • Lauderdale-LaGrange Fire Department was the #1 firefighter fundraising team in 2017 raising $10,717.

Firefighter Teams registered as of January 25:
Beaver Dam Firefighters
Bloomfield Genoa City Fire & Rescue
Cambridge Fire Department
City of Burlington Fire Department
Eagle Fire Department
F.D.M.H. (Fire Department of Mount Horeb)
Fire Slayers (SC Johnson Wax Fire Brigade)
Fitchburg Fire Department
Franklin Fire Department
Greenfield Fire Department
Kohler Fire Department
Lauderdale- LaGrange Fire Department
Lindsey (Individual Firefighter from Waukesha County Technical College)
Madison Fire
Manitowoc Fire Department
Menomonee Falls Fire Department
Mequon Fire
Milwaukee Junior Fire Institute Team 6
Pleasant Prairie Fire Department
Rochester Volunteer Fire Co.
Sheboygan Fire Department
Somers Fire Department
Sun Prairie Fire Department
The A-Team (MFD)
Thiensville Fire Department
Tichigan Fire
Town Of Wheatland Fire
Town of Burlington Fire Department
Town of Campbell Fire Department
Town of Madison Fire Department
Town of Salem Fire/Rescue
Traverse City Fire Fighters Local 646
Vernon/Lyons Fire Department
Waukesha Firefighters
Wauwatosa Fire Department
West Allis Fire Department
Wind Lake Fire Departmeny

Registration for the 2018 Fight For Air Climb is currently open online or by calling 262-703-4200. Registration fee is $25; an additional $100 fundraising minimum is required to participate.

About the American Lung Association in Wisconsin
The American Lung Association in Wisconsin is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Anthem’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s Associate Giving program which provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. ®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.

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