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Puaikura firefighters join Sky Tower Stair Challenge for charity

Friday 20 January 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Puaikura firefighters join Sky Tower Stair Challenge for charity
The Puaikura Volunteer Fire Brigade are doing it again, competing in the 2023 Firefighter Sky Tower Challenge in Auckland, NZ. Back left: Asaeli Vunibaka, John Jessie, Jason Moorfield, Jacapo Dozzo, Tahiti Isaaka, Selina Shariff and Nia Remuera. Front Left: John Beasley and Tarina Moorfield. SUPPLIED/23011907

The Puaikura Volunteer Fire Brigade members are doing it again, competing in the 2023 Firefighter Sky Tower Challenge in Auckland in support of Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.

Nine members of the Brigade – Jacapo Dozzo (captain), John Beasley, Tahiti Isaaka, John Jessie, Jason Moorfield, Tarina Moorfield, Dan Reyes, Nia Remuera, Selina Shariff and Asaeli Vunibaka – have been training hard for this massive annual fundraising event which will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2023.

The height of Auckland’s Sky Tower – the tallest building in New Zealand – measures 328 metres. The Stair Challenge entails carrying 25 kilograms of kits, worn by each firefighter, up 51 flights of stairs of 1103 individual steps, all for a good cause.

Firefighters are used to extreme environments, hard work, saving lives and property.

“In the Firefighter Sky Tower Challenge, these dedicated, strong men and women train for and put in the hard yards for New Zealanders and Cook Islanders going through a different kind of challenge,” said Tarina Moorfield who will be partaking in the event for the fourth time.

In her last challenge up Sky Tower, she recorded a time of 14 minutes 55 seconds. She is hoping to beat that time in this year’s event.

“The hardest part is the preparation, and if you are prepared, then on the day, the adrenalin takes over,” said Moorfield.

Volunteer firefighter Tahiti Isaaka is “very excited” to be participating in the challenge for the first time.

“This challenge has been on my bucket list for some time.

“The hardest part for me will be wearing the Level 2 suit and controlling my breathing,” said Isaaka.

This Saturday, the Puaikura firefighters will be at the Punanga Nui Market to demonstrate how they will be climbing up the Sky Tower in their full firefighter gear – in their first “bucket shake” event.

The team are looking for sponsors to support their efforts for this cause “because every day eight Kiwis are diagnosed with blood cancer or a related blood condition – it can affect anyone, at any age and any time in life”.

Several fundraising events will be held over the next three to four months and the firefighters would appreciate community support.

If you are interested in knowing more, please message the Puaikura Volunteer Fire Brigade through their Facebook page.

“The cancer journey is overwhelmingly difficult for patients and their families, but you can help make a difference now.”