This is my fourth year participating in this challenge. I truly enjoyed the challenge in its inaugural year. PLUS it was such a rewarding experience, physically and also emotionally, to know that it was helping fund a great organization. Although it was quite a struggle for me (lack of true training might have played some part), it was such a rewarding experience to finish the challenge.
I was first introduced to firefighting when I was in my naval training in Esquimalt, BC. Then I pursued my career in IT. Although it took little over a decade, when I moved to High River, I was ecstatic to become part of High River Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter. I have grown as an individual and watched our department evolve and grow stronger immensely during the 2013 flood. I also was so very appreciative to see the larger fire family and other communities come to help us in our time of need. So, last year when the opportunity came, I wanted to seize it to be able to “pay it forward” and also boast the strength of HRFD.
Finally, cancer has affected me in various ways – close or extended family members and friends – and I have seen the toll it takes on the individuals and their close ones. It is amazing to see organizations like Wellspring Calgary are there to provide the much-needed resources and assistance to cope during these challenging times. Of course, being a firefighter and knowing the risks to all of us, it is great to be able to support Wellspring Calgary and promote the Calgary Firefighter Benevolent Society.
So, I participate to support but more importantly to show my gratitude.
In 2018, I climb for the late Wayne Waldbauer. Wayne was a great dad and an awesome grandfather. Although he is gone he will always be in our hearts. We know he will be watching over us, especially his grandkids, forever.
(Sameer is a volunteer firefighter with the High River Fire Department.)