Enderby firefighter Andrew Haak. (Photo submitted)

Enderby firefighter steps up to challenge

Andrew Haak will be one of hundreds of firefighters taking part in the Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge in Calgary on May 5

Cancer is a prevalent occupational risk for firefighters. In honour of this, on Sunday, May 5, hundreds of firefighters from around the world will climb the stairs of Calgary’s BOW tower, one of Western Canada’s tallest buildings, in support of firefighters and citizens living with cancer.

Among them will be Enderby firefighter Andrew Haak.

Haak, 27, said he dreamt about volunteering for the Enderby Fire Department since he was a young child.

“I grew up two houses down from the fire hall so if they were going out at two in the morning, I was up and looking out the window and wondering where they were going,” he said.

At age 22, his dream became a reality. This November will mark five years that he’s been with the team. He became aware of the stair climb from a friend and decided to take part about six weeks ago. He had hoped to rally together more of a team to attend with him but it was too last minute this year.

“I’m hoping to gain some more attention and get guys from the surrounding areas more interested because people come from all over the world to participate and there’s only a few guys from B.C. who go.”

Haak has a personal connection to raise money and awareness for cancer because his grandfather died of cancer at a young age.

“I’m definitely motivated by my grandfather,” he said. “I have a higher chance of getting cancer because I’m a firefighter and we go into burning buildings which are full of bad carcinogens and that kind of stuff. I’m definitely doing it in honour of him.”

Haak plans to raise a minimum of $500 for the cause and hopes his community will consider donating.

“It makes it a little competitve between the fire departments to see who can raise the most but in the end we’re just hoping to raise awareness because we’re all just a big family.”

Haak will be travelling to Calgary in May to attend the Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge. Those participating will wear all their equipment (with the exception of their breathing mask) — including boots, pants, jacket, helmet and SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) — and climb 775 vertical feet and more than 1,200 steps to raise awareness and funds to stand in solidarity with their fellow first responders in the fight against cancer.

To donate, visit http://give.wellspringcalgary.ca.

Related: Busy night for firefighters

Related: Vernon junior firefighters on front lines

To report a typo, email:
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com
.



Follow me on Twitter @BrieChar
Email me brieanna.charlebois@vernonmorningstar.com
Like us on Facebook.

Just Posted

Vernon Pee Wee Vipers blitz Penticton

Teigan Kelly scores three times as home side rolls to 9-4 minor hockey league victory

PHOTOS: Pumpkins big – really big – and small invade Armstrong IPE Grounds

Pumpkin launch and biggest pumpkin contest among highlights of 19th annual Harvest Pumpkin Festival

Vernon columnist seeks stories for potential book

Carole Fawcett of The Morning Star’s Boomer Talk column wants to hear from boomers and seniors

North Okanagan Knights split with Summerland

Each team record KIJHL victories on home ice in weekend home-and-home series

Vernon Vipers avenge mid-week loss to Chilliwack

Vipers roll to 4-1 BC Hockey League victory Saturday on home ice

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

Shuswap ski area vies for $250,000 as top-four finalist in national contest

Help needed to accumulate votes or ‘clicks’ Friday, Oct. 18 through Sunday for trail lighting project

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

Most Read