ATLANTA, GA | March 25, 2021
On May 15, a team of firefighters from Gwinnett will suit up in 30 pounds of gear to climb the stairs of Truist Park for the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb. The team participates off-duty/voluntarily and initially got involved for the fitness challenge and competition, but now the cause is much more personal.
Each year, 50-100 firefighters join the team from Gwinnett for the Fight For Air Climb. This year, the event will look a bit different. The Fight For Air Climb typically takes place in the stairwells of Peachtree Tower but was reimagined as an outdoor climb for the safety of participants, volunteers and staff. For the event, the team will suit up in full gear – PPE, Boots, bunker pants, coat, helmet, and gloves – to tackle 1,629 stairs throughout Truist Park.
This will be the 10th year climbing for firefighter Brian Martin, who loves the challenge and the competition. Each year, his goal is to be in the top 10 fastest firefighters, and typically, he ends up in the top three.
“I like the competition. I get totally pumped about it every year,” he said. “I’m motivated by my family, friends, and fellow firefighters, especially Thad Smith, Doug Kerns, and Grant Carter, who introduced me to the climb. Now I do a lot of training at our academy to motivate the cadets to get involved, and pass the cause on to our future firefighters/climbers.”
The team also climbs to raise money for a personal cause.
“All the money raised stays in Georgia and stays local, which is very important to me,” said Brian. “And my nephew has chronic asthma. When I do the climb, just for a few minutes, I truly find out how it feels to struggle to breathe. I have seen my nephew go through breathing issues. I can only imagine what that is to go through. It keeps it real and motivates me to keep going. I’m sure every firefighter that climbs knows someone that is affected by a raspatory issue, and becomes the fuel for them to climb.”
Respiratory diseases also remain a significant health issue for firefighters and emergency responders across the nation. In the line of duty, firefighters are indirectly exposed to smoke, gasses, chemicals and other substances that can be damaging to their lungs, making them at an increased risk for chronic issues, including lingering cough, hoarseness, asthma, and allergies, and in more extreme cases, lung or bronchial cancer.
The Fight For Air Climb is on Mary 15 at Truist Park. Registration for the event is $35 and includes a $100 fundraising minimum. For more information, and to register, visit FightForAirClimb.org/Atlanta.
Your safety is always our number one priority. We are continually monitoring local conditions that might affect your Climb. Check your local Climb website for the most up-to-date information.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
A Breath of Fresh Air in Your Inbox
Want updates on the latest lung health news, including COVID-19, research, inspiring stories and health information?
Join the 700,000+ people getting our email updates!
Thank you! You will now receive email updates from the American Lung Association.