Scott Firefighter Stair Climb | Homepage

About the Event

Frequently Asked Questions


*You must be 18 or older and a volunteer or career firefighter in order to participate in this event*  

Early Bird Registration Nov. 1, 2017, 0900 PST - Nov. 3, 2017, 1700 PST
Regular Registration Nov. 9, 2017 at 0900 PST
Dedication Sign Deadline February 14, 2018 
Honoree Registration Deadline February 14, 2018
Swaps/Drops Deadline
February 16, 2018 
SCBA Reservation Deadline February 23, 2018
Elite 25 Deadline March 2, 2018
Bottle Changer Registration Deadline March 2, 2018
Battalion Change Request Deadline March 2, 2018
EVENT DAY March 11, 2018
Fundraising Deadline March 30, 2018
VIP Awards Ceremony May 6, 2018


General Questions:


Q: How do I contact Scott Firefighter Stairclimb staff?
A: You can email our team at, or give our office a call at: 206.628.0777 and ask to speak to someone about the Firefighter Stairclimb.

Q: Are you climbing in honor or in memory of someone?
Fill out this form by Wednesday February 14, 2018 and a poster will be placed in the stairwell of the person you are honoring or remembering.

Q: Are special hotel discounts available?
A: Yes, we have again partnered with the Marriott Courtyard at Pioneer Square and the Downtown Renaissance Hotel. Please reference your registration email for details and links.

Q: Is parking available?
FREE event day parking is available for all event participants and volunteers. The entrance to the parking lot is located on Columbia Street, between 4th and 5th avenues.

Q: Can my friends and family attend the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb?
 Due to space limitations, spectators not are allowed inside the Columbia Center during the course of the competition. There will be an outdoor, tented viewing area where friends and family can congregate to watch footage of participants arriving at the top of the tower. This will be located off of 5th Ave., and will be positioned to have a view of Firefighters entering the stairwell. There will also be access to food trucks along 5th Ave. The event will also be streamed live on our homepage and Facebook for your friend and family to enjoy. This link will go live on event day morning.

Q: When does registration open?
Registration for the 2018 event will open at 9:00am PST on Thursday, November 9th, 2017.
Early Bird Registration (for those who raised $1,500+ individually in 2017) will be open November 1st - 3rd, 2017.
You can find a registration walkthrough here

Q: How do I become a Volunteer?
 Volunteer registration will open at the same time as general registration (0900 PST on Thursday, November 9th, 2017). You can register under the Volunteer tab. You can find out more about the opportunities available here.  Note: All volunteers assigned to the Top and 40th Floors will be required to complete trainings online prior to event day.

Q: How much is registration?

Q: Why are registration fees and fundraising separate
Registration fees cover all costs associated to the event so that every fundraising dollar can go directly towards the LLS mission in curing blood cancers and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients. 

Q: How does the fundraising requirement work?
Each participant must raise $300 by event day in order to participate. Participants who have not raised $300 will not be given a race packet and will not be able to climb. If you are unable to raise $300 by the fundraising deadline of March 30, 2018, participation in future Scott Firefighter Stairclimbs may NOT be permissible.  If you cannot participate you must drop out from the event no later than the swap deadline (February 16, 2018) otherwise you will be responsible for raising the $300 minimum by the fundraising deadline. 

Q: One of my team members will not be able to compete, can I swap in another team member in his/her place?
Yes*, with a limit of five substitutions per team, and only a fellow member of your department may swap in. Swaps must be facilitated by the Team Captain. A swap form must be requested from Firefighter Stairclimb staff. Each person who wishes to compete in the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb must register as a new participant and meet the minimum fundraising requirement on his/her own. Each person swapping in must pay a swap fee of $25. Refunds will NOT be given to the original registered participant. All swaps must be completed by Friday, February 16, 2018 by 1700 PST. Swaps will not be permissible the day of the event. Please email for more information, or to facilitate a substitution.

* Space is limited, swaps are permitted on a basis of availability.


Event Day Questions:

Q: When does the race start?
 The first firefighter will enter the stairwell at 0800 PST. Firefighters will continue to start at about 12-second intervals throughout the day.

Q: How long will it take me to complete the race?
 This depends on each participant's fitness level, speed and the amount of time spent at rest areas. Top racers finish in as little as ten or eleven minutes, while the average participant takes about 30 minutes to finish.

Q: Are water stops available on the route?
 Yes, we have designated water stop teams stationed roughly every 10-15 floors. These locations vary slightly from year to year due to building and tenant needs. 

Q: Can we practice at the building before the event?
 No. Due to guidelines laid by Columbia Center management and security, no one is allowed in the stairwells before the event begins.

Q: Which direction do the stairwells wind?
 Counter clockwise.

Q: Can I take a camera or video recorder up the stairs with me?
 No. The Columbia Center security policy prohibits cameras and video recorders in the stairwells.

Q: What does a Team Captain do?
 In short, they are the point person for the team. Team Captains are responsible for checking and updating the team's online fundraising page, serve as a point person for any battalion change requests, fundraising questions, logistics, etc.

Q: When is Packet Pick Up?
 Packets will be available March 10, 2018 from 0900 - 1700 PST at Fado Irish Pub located at 801 1st Ave Seattle, WA 98104. You may also pick up your race packet when checking in on event day, but we strongly recommend coming to packed pick up the day before to help alleviate wait times on event day.

Q: When is the Opening Ceremonies, and is it mandatory?
 Opening ceremonies will begin approximately 30 minutes before the first participant begins climbing (around 0730 PST.  It is not mandatory, but we encourage all participants to attend as this is a very moving portion of the event. 

Q: Our team is new to the event, do I need to attend a meeting about rules?
No, but we ask that all team captains thoroughly review the FAQs, Team Captain Packet, and touch base with their assigned Ambassador and staff member with any questions.


Battalion (Start Time) Questions:

Q: How are battalions assigned?
The top 100 fastest racers from the previous year are given automatic placement in the first and second battalion heats. All other participants will be sorted into the different heats randomly, with individuals who participated and were in the top 100 fundraisers of the previous year receiving priority placement in the earlier battalion heats. Additionally, one of the morning battalions will be dedicated as the Survivor Battalion, made up of participants who are cancer survivors and/or current patients.

Q: Can my entire department race together in the same heat?
 A maximum number of three members of any given department may participate in the same battalion heat. This rule is applied to ensure your bottle changer is not overwhelmed on Floor 40, and to offer equal opportunity across the board to all departments for battalion assignments.

Q: What if I have a conflict with my assigned battalion heat?
If you have a conflict with your assigned battalion heat, you are responsible for asking another member of your department to switch battalion assignments with you. Your Team Captain will then need to facilitate the change, authorizing staff to switch the two spots in the battalion database for roll call purposes. Battalion changes will not be accepted after Friday, March 2, 2018.

Q: How does the battalion change process work?
Once battalion assignments are posted online and emailed out, your Team Captain will need to contact us at to facilitate the change. Team Captains will receive a confirmation from staff that the change/switch has been made. Battalion changes will not be accepted after Friday, March 2, 2018. NEW in 2018: No day-of -event battalion assignment changes will be accepted. 

Q: When will battalion assignments be posted?
Battalion assignments will be posted online and emailed to all participants about a week after the swap/drop deadline of Friday February 16, 2018. 

The purpose of allowing team members to switch battalion assignments is to allow participants some flexibility if they have a major conflict with their assigned time. These requests should be few and far between & will be accepted on a very limited basis.

Gear & Equipment Questions:

Q: How should my helmet be marked for the bottle change?
Every climber is required to clearly mark their helmet with the name of their department. When each climber exits the stairwell on the 40th floor for bottle change, volunteers need to be able to clearly and quickly yell out the name of your department to alert your specific bottle changer. Volunteers will not know acronyms, and the bottle change floor is far too loud for climbers to tell volunteers their department name. Use a helmet with a shield that has high contrast letters and coloring that is not darkened by smoke or heat damage. Otherwise, please make your own label on tape or paper placed on the front of your helmet that is large enough to read from across a room. To review proper helmet labeling, please click here.

Q: What equipment is required?
The following list is required. If you have any questions about the equipment needed, please send an email to

  • The race will be done in FULL structural firefighting gear: boots, pants, and coat (liners intact), helmet and gloves. Hoods will not be worn. Breathing apparatus will be worn and USED every step of the course.
  • Each firefighter participant is required to use gear which meets current NFPA structural firefighting standards. Gear that is not issued by your department for structural firefighting must meet NFPA 1971-2007 for structural firefighting. In the event that your fire department does not issue bunker gear, boots or helmets that comply, entrants must use the gear issued by your department that meets the next most current NFPA requirements. If the participant cannot secure compliant gear a limited supply will be on site on a first come first served basis. No modified and/or racing gear allowed.
  • Boots used for the event must meet NFPA 1971-2007 for structural firefighting standards. It is the responsibility of the participant to verify NFPA standards on their specific brand of boot prior to the competition. Each participant will be checked prior to entering the stairwell to ensure the proper equipment is worn during the course of the event. Gear that is found to be not fire department issue, and does not meet current NFPA requirements will subject the participant to disqualification. A disqualified participant will not be eligible for any individual or team racing prizes.

Q: I am coming from out of town, can I borrow a bottle & SCBA?
Yes, Scott Safety has graciously agreed to bring loaner packs and SCBA for you to borrow. Team Captains (or individuals if you aren't coming as part of a team) will make those reservations.  You will get an email with more information after registration.
*NOTE* Loaner gear is only for those participants traveling from out of state or who CANNOT bring their own gear.  We DO NOT have enough for everyone to borrow.   

Q: Why do I need to carry photo ID?
Participants must bring photo ID on the day of the event to ensure the liability waiver has been signed and to ensure accountability inside the building. We will also be checking ID to ensure only those who fundraise are able to participate.

Q: How does bottle change work?
There will be a bottle staging area on the 40th floor for spare bottles. Since SCBA must be worn and used throughout the climb, most participants will need to get a fresh bottle at this point to successfully complete the event. Bottle changers can be fellow participants OR they must be registered by the Team Captain prior to event day.

Q: Who can be a bottle changer?
Bottle changers do not need to be firefighters, but they need a working knowledge of your equipment and to be registered by the deadline if they are not a participant. If you do NOT register a bottle changer before the deadline, you must use a fellow participant or one supplied by the event. No exceptions will be made!

Teams with ten (10) or more participants may have a MAXIMUM of two (2) bottle changers at a time.

Q: Does my bottle changer need to register?
 Your bottle changer should not register as a participant, there will be a special bottle changer registration process before the event for Team Captains to register their team's bottle changer. Each department is allowed one bottle changer on the 40th floor at a time during the competition and firefighters are preferred. Each department will receive an event t-shirt for their bottle changer for their support. The t-shirts need to be picked up by the Team Captain at t-shirt pick-up (photo ID will be required).

Q: How should bottles be prepared for the event?
Each bottle must be clearly marked with your department name. Clear Helmet ID is essential - please do not abbreviate!

Q: Where should my bottle changer check in?
Bottle changers should check in at the loading dock with their photo ID. Bottle changers and equipment will be taken to the 40th floor via the freight elevator in the loading dock. Each bottle changer will be given a 40th floor clearance wristband and lanyard. Without this wristband AND lanyard bottle changers will not be allowed to travel to the 40th floor - no exceptions.

No long term parking is available in the loading dock area - please drop off bottle changers and equipment. Please do not bring bottles through the parking garage.  

Q: When should my bottle changer check in?
All bottle changers must be ready in the 40th floor changing area no later than your battalion start time.

Q: My bottle changer can only help for half the day. Can I arrange to swap in a different bottle changer mid-way through the competition?
Yes. We encourage each department to have a single bottle changer who can arrange to stay on the 40th floor the duration of the event/time the department has participants climbing. If this is not feasible for your department, you can arrange to switch bottle changers during the Stairclimb, provided they are a fellow participant OR your department has registered them as bottle changer. Your bottle changers will be responsible for "checking out" at bottle changer check-in in the loading dock. The replacement changer will not receive their wristband unless the first changer checks out.