It's 70 flights, 135 steps–and Dearborn firefighter Jeff Powell knows he can make it.
Powell, along with fellow Dearborn firefighter Ken Karustis and trainee Matt Ferrell, will race to top of Detroit's Renaissance Center in the American Lung Association's Fight for Air Climb on Sunday, March 4.
The annual event, held in various cities across the country, helps raise funds for the ALA to fight air quality standards, lung diseases and more. Participants vow to climb the Renaissance Center's stairs to show their commitment to the cause.
"Two of my uncles died from lung cancer," Powell said of his reasons for supporting the cause. "Any charity I can help, I'm more than willing to help. Plus, it's very seldom you get to help a charity and feel better."
Powell refers to the months of training he has done to prepare for the climb.
"Once a month, we used to go to the Hyatt Regency to climb," he said. "But we didn't wear our (firefighting) gear."
Powell said he can't speak for Karustis and Ferrell, but that he's been hitting the stairmaster at his local gym in anticipation for the Fight for Air Climb.
"I can complete it," he said with a laugh, "but I don't know how well."
Well enough to put his money in the ALA's pot of funds.
The Dearborn Firefighters Burn Drive sponsored Karustis and Powell, giving $100 to each of them–the minimum amount required to climb.
In future years, Powell said he hopes to get more Dearborn firefighters involved.
But first, he has to tackle those 1,035 steps.
Fight For Air Climb-Detroit takes place Sunday at the Renaissance Center. To find out more or to donate to the event, visit www.lung.org.