Local firefighter taking many steps to change lives

WINSTON, Ore. -- One local firefighter is taking steps to help fight blood cancers. A lot of steps.

Captain Rand Dickson of the Winston-Dillard Fire Department is always ready to gear up at a moment's notice.

But on Friday, he wasn't rushing off to an emergency. He was squeezing in a workout.

Dickson is training for the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb.

Participants from all over the world will race up 69 flights of stairs in their firefighter finery. "I wear full turnouts and an air pack on my back," he said.

Rand has completed the race before. "I feel good going into it, actually doing it is terrible, it's brutal," he said. "But as soon as it's over, I feel great and happy and glad I did it. It's a wonderful feeling."

The race isn't just a way to break a sweat.

Each firefighter raises money to participate, and all donations will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. "It really just pulls on the heartstrings. It's emotional."

Last year, the event raised over a million dollars, and Rand says it doesn't surprise him to see firefighters giving back. "Most of us do this job because we have a desire to help people, and it's just part of who we are, and it makes us feel good to help others," he said. "So this is just a natural extension of who we naturally are."

If you would like to help rand raise money for the climb, you can contact the Winston-Dillard Fire Department.