Climbing for a cause

Washougal and ECFR firefighters will participate in Seattle Stair Climb

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Washougal Volunteer Firefighters Jake Grindy, Tyler McMahon and Dustin Bross (from left to right) plan to participate in the "Scott Firefighter Stair Climb" Sunday, March 11, in Seattle. WFD Firefighter Ron Nickles and East County Fire & Rescue Firefighters/Emergency Medical Technicians John Prasch and Kelby Kiedrowski are not pictured. The event will raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Washougal Volunteer Firefighter Jacob “Jake” Grindy plans to be among the more than 1,500 individuals who will climb 1,311 steps in Seattle.

Grindy will be joined by Washougal volunteers Tyler McMahon and Dustin Bross and paid firefighter Ron Nickles, as well as East County Fire & Rescue Firefighters/Emergency Medical Technicians John Prasch and Kelby Kiedrowski, in the “Scott Firefighter Stair Climb” Sunday, March 11.

The event, which will take place in the Columbia Center, raises money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

“It’s a really good cause and a fun way to make money for the society,” Grindy said. “I’ve been affected, as many people have, with cancer in my family. I think this is a good way to give back.”

This will be Grindy’s fourth year of participation.

His grandfather Truman Abernathy, of Washougal, died of lung cancer last year.

“Going through something like that really makes you want to go the extra mile to do what you can, to help out with causes and benefits like this,” Grindy said.

The local firefighters have been practicing the climbing of stairs in full gear with air packs at the U.S. Bancorp Tower, in Portland. It is 41 stories, while the stair climb in Seattle will involve 69 stories.

Several of the area’s participants in the Seattle stair climb also plan to take part in a similar event in the fall in Portland, to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The Portland event will include several Camas firefighters.

“We focus on that one with a lot more folks, since it is close and the charity supports one of our own member’s families,” said Camas Fire Capt. Kevin Bergstrom.

For more information about the Scott Firefighter Stair Climb, call Campaign Manager Beth Rosapepe at (206) 628-0777, email or visit In addition to online donations — in honor of individual firefighters or teams — checks and cash can be dropped off at the Washougal Fire Station, 1400 “A” St., and ECFR Station 91, 600 N.E. 267th Ave., (next to Grove Field Airport), in Fern Prairie.