Seven members of the took part Sunday in the 21st annual Scott Firefighter Stairclimb at the Columbia Tower in Seattle.
Led by MIFD team captain Curt Groscost, Firefighters Tommy Guttu, Brent Horschman, Mark Givens, Kent Bastrom, Trever Kissel and Scott Logsdon joined 1,550 firefighters from 24 US states, Canada and Germany participating to raise awareness and funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They climbed 1,311 steps of Seattle's Columbia Tower—the second-tallest building west of the Mississippi.
Guttu, 26, finished in 7th place overall with a time of 12 minutes, 27 seconds — nearly 4 minutes faster than his finish the previous year — while Givens and Lt. Groscost both finished in the top-100, giving Mercer Island Fire Department team a 10th place finish overall and a team time of 43:01.
"He made Mercer Island proud yesterday," said teammate Scott Logsdon. "We enjoy doing it and supporting the cause — and we'll certainly be back at it next year."
The overall winner, Montanan Andrew Drobeck of the Missoula Rural Fire District, won the climb from bottom to top in 10 minutes, 38.2 seconds in full firefighter gear – including boots.
Competitors are required to race fully outfitted in firefighting coat, pants and equipment, including a breathing apparatus. Firefighters are allowed to use two bottles of oxygen on the climb, and bottle changers are staged at specific levels of the tower to help them switch out their tanks.
Participants have already raised $950,000 for blood cancer research with more than a month before the event. Final fundraising totals will be released later this month.
The public stair climb at Columbia Center, Big Climb Seattle, will be on March 25.
Other local finishers included (regardless of time, all firefighters completed the climb):
• Mark Givens of Mercer Island placed 79th overall, 15:06.
• Lt. Curt Groscost of Mercer Island and team captain placed 99th overall, 15:28
• Kent Bastrom of Mercer Island placed 139th overall, 16:03.
• Brent Horschman of Bothell placed 423rd overall, 18:24.
• Trever Kissel of Mercer Island placed 526th overall, 19:14.
• Scott Logsdon of Mercer Island placed 549th overall, 19:25.