Paramedic Nic Turner sizes up his climb, up 69 flights of stairs, prior to last March's event. (Photo courtesy

Big Bear Lake, CA — Two firefighter/paramedics from the Big Bear Lake Fire Department will be in Seattle, Washington on Sunday, participating in the largest individual firefighter competition in the world—and all in an effort to raise money for the blood-cancer research of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Firefighters Nic Turner and Jon Curtis, clothed in full combat gear, will race to the top of the 788’ tall Columbia Center in Seattle, taking the 69 flights of stairs to the top of what is the second tallest building west of the Mississippi River. Last year, Turner competed in the 18th annual event, finishing the 1,311 stairs in 21 minutes and raising $4,500 to contribute to the over $640,000 raised for research in the 2009 Scott Firefighter Climb. The strenuous effort by firefighters Turner and Curtis is something they are ready for, given the daily workouts performed by the firefighting team of the Big Bear Lake Fire Protection District. According to Assistant Fire Chief Mark Mills, “The Fire District provides a wellness and improvement program for its firefighters, as well as a workout room equipped with exercise equipment to keep the firefighters in top physical condition in order to perform their jobs efficiently.” Those who would like to sponsor the firefighters in their quest to climb stairs and raise funds for blood-cancer research can make a donation to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at the Big Bear Lake Fire Department, located at 41090 Big Bear Boulevard.

For those who would like to make a difference for one battling leukemia, a local opportunity also takes place on Sunday, March 7. Lizet Vega Palacios, a 32-year-old Big Bear mother and wife, will be the beneficiary of a bone marrow match opportunity taking place at Calvary Chapel from 1 to 4pm. Potential donors are asked to stop by Calvary Chapel, located at 713 Stocker Road in Big Bear Lake, on Sunday; potential donors need only provide a saliva swab to see if they are a match for Lizet Vega Palacios. For more information on the bone marrow registry, contact Sharlene Risdon at at 626/227-5719.