Local News

April 9, 2013

Dalton firefighter wins climb competition

Dozens of firefighters, each wearing 40 pounds of gear, gathered to climb 52 flights of stairs at 191 Peachtree Tower in Atlanta Saturday.

Nine minutes and 39 seconds after the start, Dalton Fire Department Engineer Douglas Kerns was the first to the top. The veteran firefighter placed first among about 55 of his flame-quenching peers in the American Lung Association’s seventh annual Fight for Air Climb.

Fight for Air events are held all over the country, each featuring a vertical climb in which competitors race up several flights of stairs. The Atlanta event had firefighters and about 250 civilian participants climb about 1,200 steps. It raised about $80,000, said state director June Deen.

Kerns is believed to be the only local firefighter to participate in the event. He won first place in the climb’s inaugural year and has had several high placings since then. This is his second time taking top prize. He took home a trophy for this year’s victory.

Kerns said he prepared specifically for the climb for about eight weeks by going up and down Mount Sinai two or three times for each workout session with a friend. They also worked out on the stairs at the Dalton High School track, he said, plus he rides a bicycle about 200 miles a week. Events like this one, he said, push him to be a better person and a better firefighter.

“You have to be prepared for anything, so being in shape really helps us do our job better, and the community and the citizens depend on that,” he said. “Our department is really big on us being fit, and they support us a lot by getting us weight equipment and things like that and supporting us going to different events such as the climb.”

Deen said Kerns’ time was especially impressive because the 37-year-old beat out firefighters several years younger and bested the fast times of many civilians who weren’t wearing full gear.

“The Dalton Fire Department has got pretty good folks if they’re keeping up with Doug,” Deen said. “He’s in good shape.”

The fastest civilian was a 26-year-old who won in 6 minutes, 44 seconds. The slowest firefighter took about 22 minutes.

Gwinnett County’s fire department received first place awards for the team event, fundraising and most participants. The top female firefighter, Rebekah McInnes, is also from Gwinnett. Gwinnett team captain John McGriff, a fire lieutenant, said the team has been the fastest firefighter team since 2007. Making the trip in full gear, he said, gets very hot.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Green spot closing 1 mlh.jpg A part of the family

    Larry Green can’t remember the exact date. But he says it was about 54 years ago when his father Marvin took him to see the new store he and his brother Herman had commissioned Red Jennings to build at 309 W. Emery St. in Dalton.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • New high school?

    The only means for “staying small” and preserving “The Dalton Way” in Dalton Public Schools may be through expansion, Superintendent Jim Hawkins said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Bond denied for man arrested in synthetic marijuana bust

    A Dalton business owner charged in a synthetic marijuana bust was denied bond Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Longtime Dalton business Green Spot to close

    Larry Green says he made the decision more than a year ago.

    July 29, 2014

  • Kiwanis Club3.jpg Kiwanians get a lesson in money and banking

    Money.
    It makes it easier for us to buy and sell goods and services. It is the measure by which we judge the relative value of those goods and services, and it allows us to “store value,” by placing it away and using it when we need it.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff: Inmates don’t ask to vote

    In his 21 years of service, Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood said inmates have never asked for the opportunity to vote.

    July 28, 2014

  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local officials agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014