Pullman Firefighter Wins First Place at Scott Firefighter Stairclimb


Escorted by Seattle firefighter’s pipes and drums, firefighters from around the region geared up March 11th for the 27th annual Scott Firefighter Stair Climb, including Steve Potratz-Lee of Pullman fire.

"The big unique challenge of learning how to climb a skyscraper when you don't have a skyscraper to practice on."

But he did it and he took first place. The climb included 69 flights of stairs, 1,356 steps with around 50 pounds of gear with personal best time of 10 minutes and 55 seconds.

But for Steve it's much more than a competition. This stair climb is a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. On the inside of the staircase there are pictures of honorees and people cheering.

“It means a lot to look up and see the face of someone who's engaged in the battle or lost their battle and think about what they're going through and this doesn't even compare to what I'm going through right now and so the entire way to the top there's lots of motivation.”

This year a part of that motivation was his aunt Lynn Potratz,she died this past year.

There's also Meg Gollnick, the wife of a Pullman firefighter who's currently battling cancer.

"It meant a lot just to climb, I mean we were climbing for Meg this season but it meant a lot to climb and remember and honor the fight that my aunt had as well."

His shift team also helped with workouts, fundraising and overall support.

“I think it’s been great to help support Steve in all of his training and he inspired us in our workouts."

Now that the 2018 stair climb is over, Steve has his sights set on a new competition.

"I'd really like to go to New York there is a New York 9-11stairclimb so there so each guy carries a name of one from one of the fallen from 9-11"

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