Laura Wiens, The Triplicate

Local firefighters are at it again, competing in this weekend's step-climbing competition in Portland to raise money for a local child who has cystic fibrosis.

Heath Schaad, Blaine Hurley and Michael Knight will climb 40 flights of stairs - about 800 steps - wearing 50andndash;70 pounds of gear and face masks Sunday during a Stair Climb in Portland that will draw firefighters from around the region.

The trip up takes about 10 minutes, but "it's not about the time, it's about completing the task," said Schaad.

These guys have done it all before. There's a similar event each March in Seattle, and it's always for a good cause.

They've been raising money through raffles and the recent Station to Station run for Sebastian Fabricius, 13, a Crescent Elk Middle School student battling cystic fibrosis.

Their goal for the fun run was $600, but they actually collected $1,400, said Schaad, a survivor of leukemia himself.

They've been training for the Portland event at the tallest building in Crescent City, the Surf Apartments. Residents of the senior housing facility consistently cheer on the firefighters as they scramble up the seven-story set of stairs.

"We're a big brotherhood," said Schaad. "It's all about fun."

To donate to the cause, contact Schaad at 954-4771, or Knight at 954-8898.

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