Firefighters will climb Sydney Centrepoint Tower for motor neurone disease

Heavy breathing: Patrick Levitzke trains at Town Beach for the Climb for MND event. Photo: Matt Attard
Heavy breathing: Patrick Levitzke trains at Town Beach for the Climb for MND event. Photo: Matt Attard

FOR the second year in a row retained firefighter Patrick Levitzke will scale the 1,504 steps of the Sydney Tower Eye to raise awareness and money for motor neurone disease.

He has no personal link with the disease. He simply wants to help and loves getting out in the community.

This year he will bring two of his fire and rescue Port Macquarie teammates with him: Seth Vagg and Emma Parke.

The annual Climb for MND event aims to raise as much money as possible for MND research at Macquarie University.

Hundreds of firefighters from all over take part in the event, falling on October 14 this year, and more impressive is that they do it in their full kit, adding an extra 20 kilograms to their bodies.

“I haven’t been affected personally by MND, but it is a great cause. Even if you aren’t impacted yourself, it’s not a hard thing to put yourself out there for something like this,” Mr Levitzke said.

“Last year I did it in 16 minutes, and the quickest time overall was around 11 minutes.

It took a few tries to coax my workmates into doing it with me, and they finally agreed this year which will be good.”

Training hard: Patrick Levitzke, Seth Vagg and Emma Park training at Town Beach for the Climb for MND event. Photo: Matt Attard

Training hard: Patrick Levitzke, Seth Vagg and Emma Park training at Town Beach for the Climb for MND event. Photo: Matt Attard

He raised $600 himself last year, and as a team they hope to break through the $5000 mark.

In excess of $278,000 has been raised by the climb this year, and organisers are pushing for $1 million by the time of the climb next month.

“There’s so much stuff with fire and rescue. So much volunteer stuff, community stuff, extra programs,” Mr Levitzke explained.

“I always try and get involved. I love to do that stuff. It makes you proud as a firefighter to do as much as you can outside the job as well.”

The team are training once a week, and a little closer will increase that to a few days a week.

“Sometimes we like to come out with the truck to get some recognition for the cause and let the community know what we’re doing,” he said.

“Getting out in the community is an awesome feeling. That’s part of the reason we do it.

“We’re not always fighting fires every day, so it’s good to get some notoriety for this cause.”