Frequently Asked Questions

Questions

  • The world's largest on-air stair climb competition. Open only to career, volunteer, or retired firefighters, this event features over 2,000 members of the fire service who must register, commit to raising a minimum of $300/person for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and then ascend the tallest building in Seattle on event day.
  • It takes 69 flights, 1,356 steps, and 788 ft. vertical elevation gain to reach the highly acclaimed Sky View Observatory on the 73rd floor. The entirety of the course must be completed while wearing full turnout gear (typically weighing 60+ lbs.), while on-air.
  • This physically challenging competition is representative of the struggle that blood cancer patients endure. Every step to the top serves as a reminder that there is still much work left to be done in funding and finding cures.
  • Since the first LLS Firefighter Stairclimb in 1991, this event has raised over $20 million for LLS.
  • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life for patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services. Since its inception in 1949, LLS has invested more than $1.2 billion in groundbreaking research, pioneering many of today's most innovative approaches.

What are blood cancers, and why is it important to fundraise to beat them?

  • Leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and myelodysplastic syndromes are types of cancer that affect the bone marrow, blood cells, lymph nodes, and other parts of the lymphatic system.
  • There are no means of preventing or early screening for most blood cancers. Therefore, the LLS agenda is focused on finding cures. LLS identifies and funds the most promising blood cancer research projects and forges partnerships with academic institutions, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to accelerate the development of new therapies.
  • Approximately every 3 minutes one person in the United States (US) is diagnosed with a blood cancer, and every 9 minutes someone in the US dies from a blood cancer. This represents approximately 160 people each day, or more than 6 people every hour.
  • An estimated combined total of 174,250 people in the US are expected to be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma in 2018. It is estimated that over 1.3 million people in the US are either living with or are in remission from one of these three diseases.
  • New cases of leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma are expected to account for 10% of the estimated 1,735,350 new cancer cases diagnosed in the US in 2018.

What impact has LLS had thus far?

  • The 5-year survival rates for some blood cancers have increased since the 1960s by more than 4 times.
  • 40% of all new cancer therapies approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) since 2000 are blood cancer therapies, many of which were first pioneered by LLS-funded research.
  • Revolutionary approaches for blood cancers are now being tested in clinical trials with other cancers and diseases including: bone cancer, brain cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, kidney cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, lupus nephritis, melanoma, multiple sclerosis, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, stomach cancer, and skin cancer.
  • LLS is the leading source of free, highly specialized blood cancer information, education, and support for patients, survivors, families, and healthcare professionals.
  • LLS' Policy and Advocacy Team drives policies that accelerate the development and approval of innovative treatments and ensure that patients have sustainable access to quality, affordable coordinated care.

How do I make a donation?

  • You can make an online donation to a registered participant or departmental team by searching their name under the upper right-hand corner Donate button.
  • If you'd like to make an offline donation, please make checks out to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and mail all checks to:

    Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

    Attn: LLS Firefighter Stairclimb

    P.O. Box 102488, Pasadena, CA 91189-2488

    Please indicate which participant/team you'd like to receive credit.

Do all the funds raised go directly to LLS?

  • Yes, 100% of proceeds raised through registration fees, individual & departmental fundraising, and sponsorship directly benefit LLS.
  • LLS is a certified 501c3 non-profit, which means all donations made to the LLS Firefighter Stairclimb are 100% tax deductible.
  • Upon making an online donation, you will receive an automatic email receipt for your tax records.
  • LLS' tax ID number is: 13-5644916.

What about Matching Gifts?

  • We encourage all donors to see if their company matches gifts, which can often double, or even triple, a donation!
  • Check to see whether your employer participates in a matching gifts program, and make sure you receive and complete all required documentation from your company to make a submission.
  • Please forward all email confirmations of matching gift submissions to MatchingGifts@lls.org in order for the participant to receive fundraising credit.

Do all participants have to fundraise for LLS?

  • Yes. All registered participants agree to meet the $300/person fundraising requirement in order to climb on event day.

Can you fundraise as a (department) team?

  • Absolutely! We encourage team fundraisers, however, we ask all events, team fundraisers, or other gatherings to respect and adhere to all local Public Health guidelines and ordinances.

How are team donations handled?

  • Any donations made directly to a team will be considered evenly split amongst all active team members. This team split will not be reflected on everyone's individual fundraising pages, but will be calculated by staff on the back end before event day. Your individual fundraising + any team split will all count toward your fundraising minimum.

Can I hold a fundraising raffle?

  • It depends. In the Pacific Northwest, only qualified non-profit organizations can legally conduct raffles. The PNW Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society chooses not to hold a raffle/gaming license because of the significant administrative burden, high cost and personal liability it places on LLS and its staff
  • It is important to know the raffle and gaming laws in the state in which you reside. As a volunteer raising funds for LLS you are bound by those laws when holding a raffle of any kind, including knowing the types of prizes that are lawfully allowed.
  • For more information on Washington State raffle/games of chance rules, please click here: Washington Gaming Rules
  • For Alaska’s rules, please click here: Alaska Gaming Rules.
  • For Oregon's Gaming Rules’s rules, please click here: Oregon Gaming Rules.
  • For Montana's Gaming Rules rules, please click here: Montana Gaming Rules.

When is the event?

  • The 31st annual LLS Firefighter Stairclimb is on Sunday, March 13, 2022, at the Columbia Center in Seattle, Washington.

If I'm not a participant, how can I watch the event?

  • Due to safety concerns of our first responders, and extremely limited space capacity, the LLS Firefighter Stairclimb is closed to the public. Family and friends may congregate in the Spectator Viewing Area off of 5th Avenue, in front of the main entrance to the Columbia Center. This outdoor area will be tented, have a direct view of the start line, multiple TV monitors streaming the finish line in the Sky View Observatory, and is located next to available food trucks on 5th Avenue.

Are children allowed?

  • Yes, but just as other spectators, all must remain in the Spectator Viewing area off of 5th Ave., unless they are a registered honoree or honoree's registered guest.

Where can I park if I'm attending as a bottle changer, sponsor, honoree, or volunteer?

  • All those in attendance can park all-day for free in the Columbia Center parking garage located off of Columbia Avenue.

How do I register for this event?

  • Every participant must register individually when General Registration opens on September 23, 2022, at 0900 PT sharp. This event typically sells out in less than half an hour, and maxes out at 2,000 participants. Each participant pays an $80 registration fee, and commits to raising a minimum of $300/person in order to climb on event day. The registration fee is non-refundable, and does not count toward your fundraising minimum.

What does registration include?

  • Registered participants of the LLS Firefighter Stairclimb will receive an event t-shirt, timing chip, racing bib, and post-race snacks.

What happens if the event is sold out? Is there still a chance to participate?

  • When the event is sold out you can join the Waitlist for a chance to gain entry as participants drop out (typically due to injury). Waitlist opportunities begin to open up around early October, but the majority typically occur between December - February. The waitlist will close after the participant's swap/drop deadline passes at the end of February 2022.

What happens if I sign up, and can no longer participate?

  • If you are no longer able to participate in the LLS Firefighter Stairclimb, you must notify staff by emailing firefighterstairclimb.org who will then deactivate your participant account. Registration fees are nonrefundable.
  • Participants who drop out will still be held to the fundraising minimum of $300/person if they drop out after the swap/drop deadline at the end of February 2022. This minimum needs to be met by the final fundraising deadline at the end of June 2022 - exact date TBD.
  • If you are dropping out and have a fellow department member who wishes to take your place, please contact staff to receive a swap form for the person swapping in to fill out. Each person swapping in will be required to pay a $25 swap fee and will be held accountable for meeting the $300/person fundraising minimum in order to climb. The original participant will not be refunded their initial registration fee.
  • There is a limit of 5 swaps per team, and swaps can only occur with fellow department members. E.g. a Seattle Fire Department member cannot swap out for a member of Everett Fire Department. If you do not have a fellow department member who can take your place, your open spot will be given to someone on the Waitlist.

Are all participants required to climb in full turnout gear while on-air?

  • Yes. All participants must complete the course in full structural gear including boots, pants, coat (liners intact), helmet, and gloves. Hoods will not be worn. Breathing apparatus will be worn and used every step of the course.

What are the gear requirements?

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • All gear worn at the event must have gone through proper decontamination procedure, or you will not be allowed to proceed through the Gear Check area and be allowed to climb.
  • No modified and/or racing gear allowed.

I'm coming from out of state - can I borrow SCBA?

  • Yes. You may reserve borrowed SCBA from 3M Scott Safety before the event. All participants will be notified by the LLS Firefighter Stairclimb via email in February 2022 of how to make such reservations. On event day you will be allowed to pick up your reserved SCBA at the 3M Scott Safety on-site air trailers within an hour of your assigned climb time.

    What are the gear requirements?

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • All gear worn at the event must have gone through proper decontamination procedure, or you will not be allowed to proceed through the Gear Check area and be allowed to climb.
    • No modified and/or racing gear allowed.

    I'm coming from out of state - can I borrow SCBA?

    • Yes. You may reserve borrowed SCBA from 3M Scott Safety before the event. All participants will be notified by the LLS Firefighter Stairclimb via email in February 2022 of how to make such reservations. On event day you will be allowed to pick up your reserved SCBA at the 3M Scott Safety on-site air trailers within an hour of your assigned climb time.
  • As a health organization, the well-being of the patients we serve especially the many immunocompromised blood cancer patients - as well as our staff, volunteers, partners, and attendees at our events is our top priority. LLS vigilantly follows CDC and local public health guidelines, and decisions are being made based on each local community. With these priorities in mind, LLS will be offering in-person meetings and fundraising events as appropriate.
  • Currently, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is moving forward with planning an in-person 2022 LLS Firefighter Stairclimb on March 13, 2022 at the Columbia Center. We are enhancing our protocols for in-person events to ensure we provide the healthiest environments possible. We will also work to ensure all safety precautions are in place to support our attendees.
  • We will also work to ensure all safety precautions are in place to support our attendees. LLS is evaluating our event “high touch” and “high capacity” areas to keep you safe and will be creating social procedures to be implemented at each in-person event.
  • We also will be following the state mask mandate, as well as proof of vaccination or negative Covid-19 test order of King County. More details to come this winter.

Stay Informed