Firefighters climb the height of Everest for charity

THEY have already taken on the challenge of training to be firefighters -

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But these recruits scaled even tougher heights to raise cash for a trio of charities.

Trainee firefighters from Strathclyde Fire & Rescue's new Uaill training centre, in Cambuslang, took part in a sponsored ladder climb.

A total of 23 fire- fighters, all in week 11 of a 14-week course, climbed 29,000ft - a height equivalent to Mount Everest.

Watch Commander Gary McGregor, responsible for training the recruits, said: "This has been a tradition in the fire service training college for years but this is the first time well have done this at Uaill as the new training centre has not long opened.

"Every fire station gives back to its local community so it's important for recruits to see that part of the job early on and know that they'll be doing more than fighting fires once they are qualified.

"It's always been the case that the fire service gets involved in the community and our fire fighters work, even on their day off, to help charities, fundraise and get involved in helping in ways other than putting out fires.

"Doing this at the training college highlights the other aspects to the job."

Three squads, Juliet, Lima and Kilo, took on the challenge.

Each chose a charity close to their hearts, from Lima Squad's Wish Upon A Star choice to Kilo Squad's efforts for Cancer Research.

Juliet Squad chose to raise funds for The Arth- rogryposis Group as the condition affects a young relative of squad member Andrew Hales.

The rare congenital disorder leaves sufferers with contracted joints and muscle weakness.

To complete the challenge firefighters had to climb a 44ft ladder a total of 29 times.

It took just 90 minutes for the trainees to reach the height of Mount Everest.

But there was no rest for them once the gruelling exercise was completed.

Mr McGregor added: "There are usually 60 or 70 fire fighters taking part in the charity climb but there were 23 this year so they've had to work especially hard - and we chose the highest mountain too!

"But they're only getting their lunch break to rest and then they'll be right back to training."

To donate to this cause, visit justgiving.com/Strathclyde-fire - and-rescue-juliet-squad

catriona.stewart@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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