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Firefighters Take to the Stairs at #1 Fight for Air Climb in the Nation

Climbing in full gear adds 50 - 75lbs. up 1000+ steps

(March 7, 2016) - Brookfield, WI

200 firefighters and other first responders in full gear will storm the stairs at the US Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee to engage in some friendly competition to help fight lung disease at the 8th annual American Lung Association in Wisconsin Fight for Air Climb on Saturday, March 19, 2016.

In the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Firefighter Challenge, firefighters, police officers and other rescue workers race up 94 flights of stairs while loaded down with up to 75 extra pounds of gear. The Anthem Firefighter Challenge has always been the highlight of an already emotional and action packed day.

This year the Lung Association is pleased to welcome back 28 returning teams as well as 10 new teams that are climbing for the first time. These teams come from 12 Wisconsin counties.

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

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.

“Firefighters and first responders work to keep us safe and healthy every day,” said Paul Nobile, Regional VP, Sales & Account Management of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin. “What I love most about the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Firefighter Challenge is that it gives all of us a chance to applaud, salute and cheer on these heroes who do so much for us and ask for so little in return.”

Linda Witucki, Executive Director of the ALA.W said, “Tackling 1034 stairs can be a challenge under the best of circumstances. Doing with 50 – 75lbs. of extra gear is monumental. These ladies and gentlemen are experiencing first-hand what it’s like on a daily basis for so many who can’t breathe.”

Teams currently registered for the 2016 event are:

  • Beaver Dam Fire Department 
  • Bloomfield Genoa City Fire & Rescue 
  • Cambridge Fire Department 
  • Dousman/Oconomowoc Fire Department 
  • Eagle Fire Department 
  • Mount Horeb Fire Department “FDMH” 
  • Fitchburg Fire Department 
  • Greenfield Fire Department 
  • Hales Corners Fire Department 
  • Hartford Fire & Rescue “Crash Crew” 
  • Kohler Fire Department – NEW THIS YEAR! 
  • Lake Country Fire & Rescue – NEW THIS YEAR! 
  • Lauderdale/LaGrange Fire Department 2015 REIGNING CHAMPS, TEAM FUNDRAISING! 
  • Lake Geneva Fire Department “LGFD Fighting for Air” NEW THIS YEAR! 
  • Lisbon Fire Department “The Climbing 2600” NEW THIS YEAR! 
  • Madison Fire NEW THIS YEAR! 
  • Manitowoc Fire Department 
  • McFarland Fire Department NEW THIS YEAR! 
  • Menomonee Falls Fire Department 
  • Middleton Fire District NEW THIS YEAR! 
  • Milwaukee - MATC #1 & #2 
  • Milwaukee Fire Department 
  • Milwaukee Junior Fire Institute – SIX TEAMS! 
  • SC Johnson Company, Racine “Fire Slayers” 
  • Sheboygan Fire Department 2015 REIGNING CHAMPS, FASTEST TEAM TIME! 
  • Somers Fire Department 
  • Southeast WI Fire Chiefs 
  • South Shore Fire Department “Duel Fuel” 
  • Sun Prairie Volunteer Fire Department 
  • Thiensville Fire Department 
  • Town of Burlington Fire Department 
  • Town of Lyons Fire and Rescue 
  • Town of Salem Fire & Rescue 
  • Waterford Fire & Rescue 
  • Waukesha Firefighters 
  • Waterford Fire & Rescue 
  • WCTC Fire/EMS Training (Waukesha County) NEW THIS YEAR! 
  • West Allis Fire Department 
  • Whitefish Bay Police Department NEW THIS YEAR! 
  • Whitewater Fire Department NEW THIS YEAR!

For more information on individual teams and links to their team pages, please contact Amanda Stengel, 262-395-1701.

From 2013 - 2015, the Milwaukee Climb has been ranked #1 in the nation among Fight for Air Climbs, beating out more than 60 other climbs in much larger cities such as Denver, Houston, Los Angeles and Boston. That distinction included both the total number of participants as well as the amount of money raised. 2016 is on track to maintain that #1 status with goals of 3,400 climbers, 500 teams and $750,000 in fundraising.

The 2016 Fight for Air Climb takes place at the US Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee on Saturday, March 19, 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.

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 or on Facebook at

About the American Lung Association in Wisconsin: Our mission is 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


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