Picton Fire and Rescue captain Bill Morris will have one goal when he attempts to climb Sydney Tower Eye – get to the top.
On Saturday, October 14, the captain and a group of the station’s firefighters will climb the tower’s 1504 stairs wearing full firefighting kit to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease research.
This is the first year Picton firefighters have participated in the stair climb.
“I know three families who have been affected by the disease and I recently attended a funeral of someone who had the hideous disease,” Mr Morris said.
“Because of my personal experience, I wanted to do my bit to help find a cure.”
I know three families who have been affected by the disease and I recently attended a funeral of someone who had the hideous disease.Bill Morris
Motor Neurone Disease is the name given to a group of diseases in which the nerve cells controlling the muscles that enable people to move, speak, breathe and swallow undergo degeneration and die. A person’s senses and intellect are not affected.
It is a progressive, terminal neurological disease. There is no known treatment or cure. It can strike indiscriminately, at any time with no proven explanation.
Mr Morris said at least four of the station’s firefighters had committed to the challenge.
They will climb 98 storeys wearing full structural firefighting ensemble and air sets with a combined weight of more than 20 kilograms.
“I have no intention of being the fastest,” Mr Morris said. “I am one of the oldest firefighters at the station. I just want to get to the top.”
Mr Morris said the firefighters had attended boot camp at the station for seven months to improve their fitness and said the training would help them complete the stair climb.
The group has been trying to find local locations with several flights of stairs to practise for the climb.
So far the firefighters have raised about $4500 and they plan to increase that tally before the climb.
“On Father’s Day (Sunday, September 3), Welcome Inn Thirlmere and the station will host a barbecue to help raise money,” Mr Morris said.
“We will hopefully hold other events and we will have tins and buckets at local venues. It would be great if locals could keep an eye out for those collections and make a gold coin donation.”