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Hot Springs firefighter trains for Stairclimb


January 17, 2019

Annie Wooden

HOT SPRINGS AND BEYOND – Firefighter and EMT Lyle Fisher has been training the for the Firefighter Stairclimb competition, scheduled for March 10 in Seattle. The climb includes 1,356 steps and a vertical elevation gain of 788 feet.

Lyle Fisher is carrying the weight of Sanders County on his back in March. Fisher, a volunteer firefighter and EMT from Hot Springs, is training for the 28th annual Firefighter Stairclimb in Seattle on March 10.

The event is a fundraiser for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Fisher, 29, has set a goal of raising $2,000, and said he is trying to get donations not just from his hometown of Hot Springs, but all over Sanders County. He plans to do fundraising throughout the county.

"It's hard to train for a skyscraper challenge in Hot Springs," Fisher said. His training, which started Jan. 1, includes walking from Hot Springs to Lonepine every other day. He said he did that when he was in the Army as well. He also climbs the steps between the football field and the gym at the school, but most of his training entails road marches with weight on his back.

Fisher decided to join the firefighter climb after he did some work with the Evergreen Fire Department near Kalispell. He said firefighters there attend each year, and he decided to take on the challenge.

Fisher graduated from Hot Springs High School in 2008 and joined the U.S. Army. In the Army, Fisher said he traveled to Germany, Europe, Afghanistan and all over the United States, but he "just missed home," prompting him to return to Hot Springs in January of 2018. He said that his second day back in town, he attended a meeting and joined the fire department. "I liked the idea of doing something for more than myself," he said. He took classes and became a licensed EMT, so now serves on the local ambulance crew as well. Fisher also works at Buck's Grocery store in Hot Springs.

"I like to give back," said Fisher, who coaches youth baseball and basketball.

The stair climb event is March 10. Firefighters from all over the country come together each year in Seattle to support LLS. Fisher said the fastest time last year to climb the 69 flights of stairs was 10 minutes, 55 seconds.

"Whether I finish in 10 minutes, 55 seconds, or 10 hours, 55 minutes, I'm going to get to the top," Fisher said with determination. The climb is 1,356 steps and includes a vertical elevation gain of 788 feet. As if that wasn't enough of a challenge, the firefighters also have to be in full bunker gear for the climb.

Fisher said there are many events the weekend of the climb, and thousands of firefighters attend. While he has set his fundraising goal, Fisher says "physically I want to get to the top to prove it to myself." He said he has a competitive nature from being in the Army.

Being the only firefighter from Hot Springs and from Sanders County to compete in the Seattle event is motivating for Fisher. He said he's received a lot of positive feedback from those who have heard about the challenging, and people have brought donations to him at Buck's Grocery. "Everyone is proud," he said.

Since the LLS Firefighter Stairclimb started in 1991, more than $17 million has been raised. All proceeds benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which fights to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Fisher will compete in the Firefighter Stairclimb on March 10. To donate to his effort, go to and search for his name.


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