Aberdeen Fire and Rescue NSW's Shane Hasselmann, Matt Thompson, Derek Wicks, Ryan King, Sid Bailey and Kane Duggan taking part in Firies Climb for Motor Neurone Disease

UP FOR THE CHALLENGE: Aberdeen Fire and Rescue NSW retained firefighters Shane Hasselmann, Matt Thompson, Derek Wicks, Ryan King, Sid Bailey and Kane Duggan will take part in the Firies Climb for Motor Neurone Disease in November.
UP FOR THE CHALLENGE: Aberdeen Fire and Rescue NSW retained firefighters Shane Hasselmann, Matt Thompson, Derek Wicks, Ryan King, Sid Bailey and Kane Duggan will take part in the Firies Climb for Motor Neurone Disease in November.

MOST people would struggle to ascend 10 floors of a building, let alone 98.

But, six selfless Aberdeen Fire and Rescue NSW retained firefighters (RFF) - Shane Hasselmann, Matt Thompson, Derek Wicks, Ryan King, Sid Bailey and Kane Duggan - will do just that when they tackle the annual Firies Climb for Motor Neurone Disease.

They'll join about 600 colleagues on Saturday, November 9, to scale the iconic Sydney Tower Eye as quickly as possible in full structural firefighting attire.

That's 1504 stairs, with each man and woman carrying an additional 20kg of gear.

"It's pretty gruelling," RFF King admitted.

"However, it is nothing in comparison to the challenge patients with MND face every day.

"Half an hour of our pain is worth a lot more than what they're going through.

"At the end of the day, the goal's to raise money and awareness for MND.

"Unfortunately, the disease strikes indiscriminately, at any time with no proven explanation.

"MND affects the nerve cells (neurones) controlling the muscles that enable us to move, speak, breathe and swallow, causing them to degenerate and die."

For RFF King and three of his "team mates", they'll know what to expect on this occasion.

"Matt, Sid, Kane and I did it last year for the first time," he said.

"So, it wasn't too hard to entice Shane and Derek to participate, too, especially for such a good cause.

"At least we'll be better prepared.

"The heat's the hardest part of the climb - and that's after you really feel it in your legs.

"We're all hoping to amass at least $1504 each, which is $1 a step.

"We raised nearly $13,000 in 2018.

"It would be nice to beat that amount.

"Matt's also put out a bit of a challenge to the other local brigades to beat his time on the day.

"Every dollar raised will directly support the Macquarie University MND Research Centre so they can find a cure to this terrible disease."

The firefighters are hosting a community colour fun run, in conjunction with Aberdeen Public School, on Friday, August 30.

"We're looking forward to it," RFF King said.

"Half of the money will go towards the school, the rest of it to MND.

"But, keep an eye on our Facebook page for upcoming fundraisers."