The Cause

Cancer is the #1 cause of line-of-duty firefighter deaths.[1]

We all know firefighting is a dangerous occupation, but did you know there are 20 presumptive cancers[2] recognized as occupational hazards related to firefighting?

This event spotlights firefighters and underscores the risks they take every day when they go to work. It also reflects how Wellspring’s mission relates to the important work they do. Proceeds from the Firefighter Stairclimb Challenge ensure Wellspring Alberta can provide programs and services to firefighters and all citizens living with cancer. Wellspring Alberta also proudly gifts a portion of event proceeds to support the Firefighters Assistance Charitable Society (FACS), whose mission is to empower and strengthen firefighters by enhancing the success and resilience of the firefighter community.

Increased Risk

Firefighters are more likely to be diagnosed with certain types of cancer than the general public.[3]


Chronic exposure to heat, toxic smoke and the byproducts of fire puts firefighters at high risk for developing cancer.[4]

Toxic Materials

Households commonly contain materials that produce toxic smoke, such as plastic and synthetic materials.[4]

Wellspring Alberta

Wellspring Alberta is a registered charity offering free programs and services that meet the emotional, social and practical needs of people living with cancer – those diagnosed, caregivers and kids.

Across the province, only Wellspring devotes itself exclusively to the unique non-medical needs cancer presents. Wellspring provides a caring community in-person and online, so any adult living with cancer, their caregiver and family members can access vital information, meaningful support and effective coping strategies.

Why We Climb

There are many reasons our participants choose to climb – for a personal challenge, as a team building opportunity, or because someone important in their life was diagnosed with cancer. Here are some inspiring stories about why these participants are climbing.

Why We Climb

Alecia Demott

Anyone who knows me knows how close I hold my grandpa Gene to my heart; that man was one in a million. My whole life

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Why We Climb

Sylvain Frechette

My name Is Sylvain Frechette and I am an active Fire Fighter from Canmore Fire Rescue since 2016. I participated in the 2018 Stairclimb and

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[1] Thomas, L., Garis, L. & Biantoro, C. 2020, July. Canadian firefighter fatility and injury: Trend analysis of association of Workers Compensation Boards of Canada fatality and Injury claims 2006-2018. Centre for Public Safety and Criminal Justice Research, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of the Fraser Valley.

[2] Workers Compensation Board of Alberta (September 24, 2018). Worker Fact Sheet – Firefighters with Cancer.

[3] Daniels, Robert D, Kubale, Travis L, Yiin, James H, Dahm, Matthew M, Hales, Thomas R, Baris, Dalsu, Zahm, Shelia H, Beaumont, James J, Waters, Kathleen M, & Pinkerton, Lynne E. (2014). Mortality and cancer incidence in a pooled cohort of US firefighters from San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia (1950–2009). Occupational and Environmental Medicine (London, England), 71(6), 388–397.

[4] Carcinogenic Exposures.