On Saturday, March 22, 2014, members of West Manatee Fire Rescue participated in the American Lung Association’s Annual Fight for Air Climb. The annual event draws hundreds of people who walk or run their way up all 41 floors (892 steps) of the Bank of America Plaza in downtown Tampa. The event raises money for education, research and advocacy for pulmonary related diseases. Climbers typically climb for loved ones who have succumbed to or who are battling pulmonary related illness. Members of West Manatee Fire Rescue climbed for every citizen in their district who struggles with diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Emphysema, Asthma, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, etc.
West Manatee Firefighters participated in the full-gear, fire rescue division competing against other Tampa Bay area fire departments. Team members scaled the 41 floors in full-bunker gear and air packs. Team times are calculated using the three fastest individual times within each team. West Manatee placed 3rd out of the 8 competing departments with an amazing team time of 10:55. Even more astounding, is the $4,027.90 raised by the West Manatee Firefighters.
Team members are Jacob Taylor, Jorden Mcpherson, Kiersen Thompson, Tom Price, Tyler Macdonald, Derek Bill, Zach Benshoff, Lionel Harrison, Tim Pierce, Kyle Warren, and Rodney Kwiatkowski.