Cheney Free Press -


Area firefighters reach top of Seattle's Columbia Center


Eight West Plains area firefighters were among the 1,475 total from around the United States and several foreign counties who competed in the 22nd annual Scott Firefighter Stair Climb March 10 in Seattle, climbing 788 feet up the stairwell of the city’s Columbia Center Tower – the second tallest building west of the Mississippi River.

Competing for Spokane County Fire District 3 were Travis Devine, Arron Hess, Matt Kronvall, Thom Long, Brian Mangis and Ben Prescott. Mangis turned in the best time overall in 26 minutes, 17 seconds to place 1,099. Devine and Prescott finished in 26:57 and 29:55, 1,137 and 1,239 respectively, with Kronvall reaching the top in 30:26 for 1,255. Hess made it in 31:18, finishing 1,276 while Long finished in 32:58 for 1,308 place overall.

Two firefighters competed from the Medical Lake Fire Department. William Allen made the ascent in 18:34 finishing 405th overall while Shawn Grittner’s time of 31:48 put him in 1,283rd overall.

The top male time was Andrew Drobeck of the Missoula City Fire Department, making the climb in 10:48. The top female time went to Georgia Sanz Daniels of the Graham Fire and Rescue, reaching the top in 14:22, 40th overall.

Paul Kimball of the Spokane Valley Fire Department had the top time for Spokane County agencies, placing fifth overall in 11:48.

Firefighters donned full gear, including oxygen, which can weigh nearly 70 pounds and ascended the vertical 69 flights of stairs and 1,311 steps to the Columbia Center’s observation deck. The firefighters help raise money to help fund blood-cancer research and patient services through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Figures for this year’s climb were not available, but in 2012, according to the climb’s website, 1,550 firefighters from 290 departments raised $1.2 million for cancer research.

John McCallum can be reached at


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