Meet Gabby Keats, the CFA firie about to climb the World Trade Center

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We found out about a CFA firie who is funding her own way to New York to climb the World Trade Center at the 5th Annual New York City Memorial Climb – meet Gabby Keats!

The annual New York City Memorial Stair Climb hosts over 400 first responders as they climb the 80 floors of 3 World Trade Center in memory of the 343 FDNY, 37 PAPD, and 23 NYPD members killed on 9/11.  Also memorialized in the climb are the hundreds of first responders who tragically continue to die from 9/11 related illnesses.  While all participants climb in full gear, the most important item they carry to the top is an honour tag with the name of a 9/11 first responder who was killed on the day of or who died after due to a 9/11 related illness.

Hi Gabby, tell us a bit about yourself – what station are you with?

I am with The Basin Fire Brigade, I first joined in 2009 through the junior program, completed recruits in 2013, became a junior leader in 2017 and at our most recent elections I was elected as our 5th Lieutenant.

How did you hear about the NYC climb? Are you involved in the similar Australian climbs?

I have been involved in the Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb for the past 3 years.

  • 2016. Donned 18-39, 1st place in category – 5min 56sec
  • 2017. Donned and started 18-39, 6th place in category – 6min 24sec
  • 2018. Donned and started, 6th place in category – 6min 24sec again!

At each of these climbs in the ceremony before the event, this particular NY climb is mentioned as something to do if we ever got the opportunity. It was something I always dreamed of doing but never thought I’d actually get the chance. I guess dreams do become a reality when you work hard!

So what’s it like to train for an event like this?

Since I signed up 12 weeks ago I have been at the gym 3-4 times a week, 1000 steps or the trail up Mt Dandenong. Not only training legs at the gym but also core and back/shoulders for turning corners and for carrying the BA.

Training with structure gear on to get used to the heat was what I was focused on most. The last 4 weeks have been training with a BA cylinder on too for the weight. This last week has been a recovery week so swimming and cycling have been the most strenuous things I’ve done.

What’s the most challenging aspect of this particular climb?

I would have said the length being 80 floors, but after training, I think it will either be the heat from the gear or possibly jet lag lol đŸ™‚

Are you looking forward to representing Australia Overseas or interstate?

In previous years a small number of Aussies have been involved but this year I haven’t heard of any others going over. It’s my first one outside of Melbourne so I am looking forward to it!! I may have written a stair climb bucket list. Next year hoping for Sydney or Auckland!

Show us that sweet helmet…

The helmet was produced by the guys at Signx and Street Image Accident Repairs Center! It’s awesome!

Now, given Gabby is funding her own way over to climb, we should absolutely give her fundraising page a shoutout!

So, if you’ve got a couple of bucks laying around, why not drop it in the tin and give her a helping hand.

You can do that, right here.

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I founded Flashover to promote Australian Firefighting. I've been a volunteer and a paid firefighter but now I spend my time chasing up leads, promoting good mental health and making the occasional Grumpy Firecom comic!

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