Stepping Up – Again

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A St. Maries firefighter will travel to Seattle next month to compete in the 2015 Scott Firefighter Stair Climb.

This will be the fifth year Ronnie Dickerson has participated in the event, which is purported to be the largest firefighting competition in the world and raises money each year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“Every year after I do it I say I’m not going to go back,” Mr. Dickerson said. “But at each landing there are pictures in memory and when you see that the majority of the people in the pictures are 25 years or younger it breaks your heart.”

Ronnie Dickerson will compete in the 2015 Scott Firefighter Stair Climb in Seattle in less then two weeks. This is the fifth year he has participated.

Ronnie Dickerson will compete in the 2015 Scott Firefighter Stair Climb in Seattle in less then two weeks. This is the fifth year he has participated.

Firefighters from across the country participate in the 69-story climb up the Columbia Center, the second tallest building west of the Mississippi, while wearing more than 50 pounds of firefighting gear, including boots, pants, jackets, gloves, helmet and self-contained breathing equipment.

Tim Kraack participated in the event with Mr. Dickerson for three years, but to due a knee replacement he no longer does the climb. Mr. Kraack still helps with fundraising and provides support to Mr. Dickerson.

“He changes out my bottle and he’s my coach. He goes and trains with me,” Mr. Dickerson said.

Mr. Dickerson said the climb is “ridiculously hard.”

“I do it for the people who can’t,” he said, adding he has been training since before December.

Last year, Mr. Dickerson completed the climb in 39 minutes 53 seconds.

“I took five minutes off my previous time last year and hope to do the same this year,” he added.

This year’s event is March 8, which means in less than two weeks Mr. Dickerson will be headed to Seattle. As part of competing in the event, he is required to do some fundraising to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“I want to raise at least $1,500 because that guarantees me a spot in the stair climb next year,” he said. “If you lose your spot it is hard to get back in.”

Mr. Dickerson said people may make donations online at http://www.llswa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ff_home.

“Click on the donation tab and then you select the amount you want to donate,” he said. “You have to do $5 minimum. It will also give you the chance to put the donation under my name.”

Donations can be made locally at the St. Maries Fire Station, AmericanWest Bank or directly to Mr. Kraack or Mr. Dickerson. All donations must be made by March 28.

Mr. Dickerson said he has pictures of a few individuals he will be taking with him to pin up during the climb. Anyone who wants to give him additional pictures can do so.

“Just call me at 245-6639 or Tim at 689-3681,” Mr. Dickerson said.

He added he is dedicating this year’s climb to Joyce Sindt and Tish Knowland, both of whom died of cancer.

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