FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2014
Contact: Lt. Jason Bostic – FFII/PIO/CFSI
Tel: (740) 627-1664
FREDERICKTOWN – Over the last eight years local firefighter, Lieutenant Jason Bostic of the Fredericktown Community Fire District has competed in the Scott Firefighter Stair Climb in Seattle, WA, but for the March 8, 2015 climb, that role got a little bigger. Bostic, a year round competitor at other climbs and events has now added “Ambassador” to his title as he will be a go to contact for firefighters in the Central and Eastern United States that are competing in the event for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“It was a huge decision that I debated, but when you see and know what this event does and means to so many, you can’t help be get more involved,” said Lt. Bostic. “I’ve watched the climb change so much in the last eight years, I wanted to be a bigger part of working with the people to champion it forward.”
This year the event has increased the participate numbers to a total of 1925 that can compete in the day long race that will bring firefighters from not just around the United States, but the world. This year 322 fire departments from 22 states and three countries are represented.
Bostic and other competitors will race up 69 floors to the top of the Columbia Center tower that stands at 788 feet and is the second tallest building west of the Mississippi. It will take firefighters 1311 grueling steps to reach the top and the will do the event wearing full firefighter gear and a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) while breathing only the air they have on their back. The gear that Bostic wears adds an additional 45 pounds to his normal bodyweight.
“Yes, it’s a challenge, yes it’s a race, its brutal at times, but it is far less painful and difficult compared to those that are fighting forms of Leukemia and Lymphoma. Every training day, every event, every race, and every step until I finish, that is a constant reminder,” said Bostic. “When you listen to honorees, survivors, and family of those that are fighting or have lost a battle, it puts things in perspective. It pushes you, and when you get to do this event with 1925 brother firefighters, it makes it all that more meaningful.”
In preparation, Bostic has continued throughout the year traveling to 21 runs and stair climbs for a variety of causes to compete and prepare for the Seattle event. Events aren’t the only means of preparation for Bostic though, who aims to stay firefighter fit. He works out at the YMCA and Fitness Dynamics, both in Mount Vernon several times a week with a variety of exercise from running, climbing, biking, lifting weights, aerobics, intense interval training, and yoga. The classes and time spent prepares and challenges the cardiorespiratory system that is pushed to the max in competition and on the fire scene.
“I’ve seen the changes, it takes work and determination, and there are no shortcuts. I remember what it was like when I started this journey for my first climb in 2007” said Bostic. “Events like these really encourage us to take fitness seriously, because the lack thereof is taking the lives of firefighters.”
This will be the ninth time he has competed in the event, and has raised $14,454.93 in the first eight years participating. For this climb, Bostic has set a goal of $2,500 in fundraising and to beat his own PR of 29:01 to the top of the tower.
“I want to challenge myself to be better in the fundraising, its difficult with the state of the economy. My hope is that people realize that every single penny makes a difference,” said Bostic.
Bostic’s motivation for participating in the event was his mother Peggy’s illness of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia that nearly took her life in 1986. Her long battle with CML continued to slowly kill her until she received a bone marrow transplant in 1990. The unmatched, unrelated bone marrow transplant was the first of its kind at The Ohio State University Medical Center and was before the James Cancer Institute came to fruition. Without fundraisers and funding for research, her life may not have been saved. She has been in remission since 1993 and continues to live a healthy life.
“I can’t payback the efforts of what the L&LS and their research did to save my mom, but I can pay it forward and make sure it is there for someone else,” Bostic added.
Recognized as the largest individual firefighting competition in the world, the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb is sponsored by Scott Health & Safety and has attracted competitors from around the world. In 2014, over 1800 firefighters representing over 281 departments raised a record $1.97 Million for the Society.
For more information about his climb and to donate you can visit his personal website at www.ff4cures.com and follow the link on the right side of the page to the Scott Firefighter Stair Climb fundraiser.