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Kensington firefighters climb 30 floors to help American Lung Association

Members of the Kensington Fire and Rescue talked to Twin Cities media before their "Fight for Air" climb in Minneapolis. Contributed photo.1 / 2
Members of the Kensington Fire and Rescue who participated in this year's "Fight for Air" event included (back row, left to right) Joey Anderson, Matt Christensen, Jason Stevens, Randy Nessman, Joey Nessman, Dale Rau; (front row, left to right) Duane Rau, Courtney Smith and Karin Anderson. Contributed photo.2 / 2

Members of the Kensington Fire and Rescue fought for air - and a good cause - on a recent outing.

For the second year in a row, they participated in the "Fight for Air" firefighter climb for the American Lung Association.

They raised $2,115.

A total of 32 fire departments and about 250 firefighters participated.

The donations they raised will support the fight against lung cancer, asthma and other lung diseases.

One of the Kensington firefighters, Courtney Smith, climbed in support of his dad, who died a few years ago due to a lung-related problem.

The motto at the climb is: "We breathe for those who can't."

Nine Kensington firefighters participated in this year's climb - Smith, Joey Anderson, Karin Anderson, Matt Christensen, Joey Nessman, Randy Nessman, Dale Rau, Duane Rau and Jason Stevens.

It's a very intense climb and no small task to accomplish. It took place at the Accenture Tower in Minneapolis.

In full turnout gear and airpacks (an extra weight of about 50 pounds), the firefighters climbed 30 floors, 60 flights and 660 steps.

The experience not only prepared the firefighters for working at a fire scene in stressful and hot conditions, but also helped them become more physically fit to be able to work on fires for longer durations.

One of the Kensington firefighters has asthma, one has a lung condition and another had a recent kidney condition, yet they all chose to complete the climb.

The Kensington firefighters did their best and each one finished the climb in a time between eight and 13 minutes, beating their times from last year.