Local firefighters are teaming up to participate in the American Lung Association’s 8th annual vertical challenge to race to the top of One Ninety One Peachtree Tower in downtown Atlanta Saturday morning.
The climb, which has become a favorite event among first responders, has continued to be successful in both raising awareness and funds in the Atlanta area.
Firefighters from the Dalton, Chatsworth, Calhoun and Douglas County Fire Departments are teaming up to participate in the event.
“You notice it (the extra weight) the whole time,” said Dalton firefighter Douglas Kerns, who is in his eighth year for the climb. In addition to helping the cause, Kerns said it helps promote firefighter safety and fitness.
Last year, the American Lung Association in Georgia raised more than $90,000 from the event. It is the organization’s largest fundraising event in Georgia.
“This event really draws attention not just to your legs but to your lungs,” said Brooke Cowen, American Lung Association Development Manager. She said lung disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
“Lung disease affects a lot of people, and while we can’t prevent all lung diseases, we can prevent some and we’re still looking for cures,” she said.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women, according to the American Cancer Society.
“We really don’t understand the value of just being able to inhale,” said Kerns.
The race will take place Saturday morning starting at 8 and is expected to attract more than 600 climbers. Preregistration is available, and it is suggested that event goers arrive by 7 a.m. One Ninety One Peachtree Tower is at 191 Peachtree Street, Atlanta.
Completed in 1990, One Ninety One Peachtree Tower has become a defining feature of the Atlanta skyline. Architects John Burgee and Philip Johnson designed the building to be instantly recognizable, a distinctive signature of the city. As the fourth tallest building in the city, it stands at the highest elevation point along one of Atlanta's premium thoroughfares, Peachtree Street. Its elegant design and intricate marble and artistic features make it a unique setting for this once-a-year event.