You are currently viewing Firefighters set for fierce climb
Hannah Thorburn, left, and Stacey Frow will race up the Auckland Sky Tower to raise funds and awareness for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand on May 20. Photo: GORDON PREECE

Firefighters set for fierce climb

A Turua firefighting duo will ascend the tallest building in the southern hemisphere later this month for a flaming good cause.
The annual Firefighter Sky Tower Challenge attracts hundreds of New Zealand firefighters to race to the top of the 328m Auckland Sky Tower carrying 25kg of gear and raise funds and awareness for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC).

Hannah Thorburn and Stacey Frow, who have volunteered at Turua Volunteer Fire Brigade for a combined eight and a half years, told The Profile it would be their second year attempting to conquer the fierce climb.
The duo, along with Wayne Thorburn, were the first team from the Turua brigade to compete in the challenge last year.
“It’s pretty cool for a small community to be able to do something like that, especially when you get to the Sky Tower Challenge itself and you’ve got all these permanent firefighters rather than volunteers,” Hannah said.
“They’ve been training hardcore for seven days a week and then you beat them and then you’re like, ‘yeah, little town Turua can do stuff’.”
Stacey said in addition to her and Hannah climbing the Sky Tower’s 51 flights of stairs, for the challenge on May 20, she would also compete in the Firefighter of Steel category.
The category involves climbing an additional 10 flights and carrying a heavier cylinder.
“If I can make it in the same time and go up the extra 10 floors it would be good for me,” she said.
“I would never have possibly thought about doing that but then last year I also did the 9/11 memorial walk up the Sky Tower and that goes to 61 floors, so I thought if I could do it then, I should be able to do it now.”
Stacey said she and Hannah had trained for the event since November last year, which included scaling Jacob’s Ladder in Thames wearing their full firefighting kit.
The duo also planned to wear tutus for the challenge again this year, hence their team name: Turua Tutus Team.
“Last year we were waiting to do our walk and we noticed before the climb there’s actually a lot of teams dressed up, so the whole team in kilts and things like that,” she said.
“So we thought let’s go and grab some tutus just to brighten it up.”
Stacey said the team had raised around $400 for the charity this year and hoped to raise a minimum of $1500.
Stacey said the Turua brigade was also seeking more volunteers. “We would really love people if they want to help out the community to pop into a training night on a Wednesday at 7pm and see what we’re all about,” she said.