My name is Hayley Dun, I am 26 years old and have been a firefighter with Fire and Rescue NSW since 2016 at Nowra 405 station.
I heard about the stair climbs in early 2016 when I first started and the first one I had heard about was the Sydney Eye Tower climb for Motor Neuron Disease. It was widely shared and promoted on social media and was something I wanted to become apart of. I couldn’t wait to be a part of it!
Just how many of these climbs have you been in?
I have done the Sydney Eye Tower for MND research twice now and more recently the Brisbane Tower Climb for Cancer research – and have another two in the next two months! I really enjoy the team comradery and raising funds and donations. We all work together in supporting others to get up to the finish line rather.
On Saturday September 1st I am doing the Melbourne stair climb, which is 28 floors of the Crown Metropol Hotel, wearing 25kgs of turnout gear and breathing apparatus. Collectively 650 Firefighters are raising funds and awareness to “Step up to fight depression, PTSD and suicide”. This year we aim to raise $700,000 for Lifeline and the Black Dog Institute to improve support services, fund research, remove stigmas and raise awareness of Mental health issues like depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and suicide, especially for those within the Emergency Service and Defence communities.
On Saturday 20th October 2018. I will again for the third year in a row climb the 98 storeys/1504 stairs of Sydney Tower Eye wearing full structural firefighting ensemble and air sets with a combined weight of over 20Kg. At a vertical rise of 820 feet, the climb to the observation deck is a gruelling challenge. Each floor of the stairwell is dedicated to patients of MND both past and present. It’s a harrowing journey supporting those living with the horrific disease. All funds go directly to Macquarie University MND research centre to find a cure for MND.
In the future I plan to keep doing the yearly Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane climbs as well as the New Zealand stair climb and I hope to see other state agencies jump on board to host more stair climbs.
What about looking ahead, are there any other climbs that interest you?
I would love to do the 9/11 20 year anniversary climb in 2021 to pay tribute to a FDNY firefighter by climbing the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Centre. The tribute not only remembers the sacrifice of an FDNY brother, but symbolically completes their heroic journey to save others. Through firefighter participation it ensures that each of the 343 firefighters are honoured and that the world knows that we will never forget. The proceeds of these events help the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation create and maintain programs that support fire service survivors. Support of the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb events helps the surviving families and co-workers of the 343 firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice on September 11, 2001.
What is your training like?
Lots of stair climbing where ever possible and lots of endurance training! A good mix between gym and finding some stairs in the local area works well for me. If you’re lucky enough to have a gym that has a stair master that will be your best friend in preparing for it as well as a weight vest!
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, is there a page where people can go to support you?
Absolutely you can donate here, thank you! If people are thinking about entering one of these climbs for the first time, my advice would be if you love a challenge and to raise money for charity while doing it, this is the gig for you!
If you are entering a climb soon, we’d love to hear from you! Drop your name and details in the comments below, or on our facebook page.
Stay safe – and keep climbing!