CLEVELAND — Cleveland Fire Department members help the community every day of the year, and they are taking that commitment a step, while 1,349 steps further to be exact.

Cleveland firefighters will be joined by their fellow first responders from throughout Northeast Ohio to take the Firefighter Challenge at the Fight For Air Climb at Key Tower in Public Square to benefit the American Lung Association on Sunday, February 23.

The Firefighter Challenge will see fire service employees making the climb in full turnout gear, including a helmet, mask, boots and an air tank, all of which combines to weigh between 50 and 75 pounds.

“In the line of duty, firefighters are regularly exposed to smoke, gasses, chemicals and other substances that can be damaging to their lungs, making them at an increased risk for lung disease,” Kim Covey, executive director of the American Lung Association, said in a release announcing the challenge.

“Firefighters are out there saving lives every day, so hopefully, the work we do at the American Lung Association can help prevent lung disease and find a cure for lung cancer. We are honored that so many local heroes participate in our event.”

Cleveland’s firefighters are no strangers to the competition, as they have participated in several of the previous climbs.

Groups of five or more firefighters will compete to see who has the fastest and best fundraising teams while climbing 58 floors, making 1,349 steps to reach the top of Ohio’s tallest tower.

In addition to first responders, the Fight For Air Climb is open to individuals, friends and family teams and corporate teams and annually draws hundreds of Ohio residents to Cleveland for the competition.

Funds raised by the event go to help the combat lung disease.

To learn more about the Fight For Air Climb at Key Tower, visit