Local firefighter Nic Turner gave his all in the 18th annual climb, to complete the 1,311 stairs in 21 minutes. Though he was sick for this year's competition, he still made it to the top of the Columbia Center in full combat gear. (Post-competition shot from 2009 courtesy of RimoftheWorld.net)

Big Bear Lake, CA — On Sunday, March 7, two local firefighter/paramedics from the Big Bear Lake Fire Department joined firefighters from across the country for the largest individual firefighter competition in the world, racing to the top of Seattle’s Columbia Center. In full combat gear, firefighters Nic Turner and Jon Curtis climbed 69 flights—or 1,311 stairs—and, given sponsorships, raised money for blood cancer research of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In this, the 19th annual Scott Firefighter Climb, Jon Curtis placed 651st out of 1,294 participants, racing to the top of the 788’ tall building in just over 21 minutes. In last year’s effort, Nic Turner made it to the top in 21 minutes but, as he was under the weather for this round, Big Bear’s five-year firefighter completed the competition in 41 minutes. Those at the Big Bear Lake Fire Protection District say they are proud of the efforts of both Curtis and Turner in this challenging endeavor; those who still wish to make a contribution to blood cancer research on their behalf may still do so via firefighterstairclimb.org.