Lung Cancer Loss, Lung Disease Risk Brings Cincinnati Firefighter to the Stairwells in 60 Pounds of Gear

Local firefighters participate in the Fight For Air Climb at Carew Tower for fitness, to honor loved ones they lost to lung cancer, or to raise awareness about the risk of lung disease for firefighters. Sharonville Fire Department firefighter Brad Long participates for all those reasons.

Long is a 4th generation Cincinnati-area firefighter who joined the Sharonville Fire Department about a year and a half ago. His grandfather was a local firefighter who worked as a firefighter for more than 27 years. After Long’s grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer, doctors discovered that his disease was likely the result of a local chemical fire that he fought years before.

“When he was in the fire service, they didn’t have the breathing apparatus that we have now,” said Long.

When Long joined the Sharonville Fire Department, they had a Fight For Air Climb team, so he decided to join and started training. For the Firefighter Challenge at the Fight For Air Climb, 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 45 floors, 804 steps of Carew Tower.

“To train for the Fight For Air Climb, we work out every shift. Once we get closer to the event, we start hitting Stairmaster a lot in full gear,” said Long.

Last February, Long, along with 22 other Sharonville Firefighters (and 89 other firefighters overall), climbed Carew Tower for the Fight For Air Climb. The Sharonville Team was the top fundraising team and got 3rd fastest fire department.

On February 9, Long will again participate in the Fight For Air Climb at Carew Tower. This year, he will climb in memory of his grandfather, but also to help raise awareness for lung disease and lung cancer in firefighters.

“The Fight For Air Climb is a great event to raise money for research, but we also raise money to help people with lung disease, and raise awareness of lung disease and lung cancer in firefighters,” said Long. “The physical aspect of it is great, too. It is a cool and fun event.”

The Fight For Air Climb is open to all first responders, as well as individuals, friends and family teams, and corporate teams. Each year, the event attracts hundreds of residents and people from across the country who race up the stairs of Carew Tower (45 floors, 804 steps) to raise awareness and money to fight lung disease. To learn more about the Fight For Air Climb at Carew Tower, happening on February 9, visit

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