Jacksonville Firefighters to Climb TIAA Bank Field in 60 Pounds of Gear

On March 27, a team with the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters will suit up in 60 pounds of gear to climb the stairs of TIAA Bank Field for the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb. The team initially got involved for the fitness challenge and to bond as a team, but now they hope to raise awareness for cancer in firefighters. 

Each year, about 40 firefighters join the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters team 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 the Bank of America Tower but was reimagined as an outdoor climb challenge for the safety of participants, volunteers and staff. For the event, the team will suit up in full gear – PPE, boots, helmet and air tank – to tackle 600 stairs throughout TIAA Bank Field.

“The Fight For Air climb is a great team building activity for us,” said Fight For Air Climb team captain and Jacksonville Fire and Rescue engineer, Matt Kramer. “It is a challenge. We like the competition, and it builds camaraderie.” 

The team also participates to honor the first responders who climbed the World Trade Center Towers to save lives on 9/11, and to raise awareness for cancer in firefighters. 

“Cancer in firefighters is a huge issue. In fact, cancer is the number one cause of death among firefighters. We need more awareness surrounding cancer in firefighters because it is a huge thing that we deal with,” Kramer said. 

Respiratory diseases also remain a significant health issue for firefighters and emergency responders. In the line of duty, firefighters are regularly 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 March 27 at TIAA Bank Field. Registration is $35 and includes a $100 fundraising minimum. For more information, and to register, visit ClimbJax.org.  

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.

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
312-940-7001
[email protected]

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