Climb of a lifetime Oak Bay firefighter Trent Frenkel and former Esquimalt Fire Department Assistant Chief Steve Serbic are participating in Climb the Wall, a 48-storey stair climb up the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver on Sunday. The Climb the Wall event is a fundraiser for the BC Lung Association and about 150 of the approximate 350 participants who make the climb each year are firefighters. Serbic decided to do the stair climb this year out of a special relationship he had built with former Oak Bay News reporter Keri Coles, who died from cancer on Nov. 7.(Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Oak Bay, Esquimalt firefighters headed up the big climb Sunday

Oak Bay firefighter joins former Esquimalt assistant chief for 48-storey stair climb

The biggest set of stairs Steve Serbic ever climbed during his firefighting days was eight stories.

On Sunday, in full gear, the former Esquimalt Fire assistant chief will join Oak Bay firefighter Trent Frenkel in climbing 48 stories of the Sheraton Wall Centre hotel in Vancouver. The Climb the Wall event is a fundraiser for the BC Lung Association and about 150 of the approximate 350 participants who make the climb each year are firefighters.

The climb is not easy and it comes with strict rules for the firefighters. They must wear full firefighting equipment and breath through a full air tank.

“That makes it tricky, you have to pace yourself to make the tank last,” Frenkel said.

READ ALSO: Service for Oak Bay Fire chaplain set for Monday

Serbic has wanted to do Climb the Wall for 18 years. The former Surrey firefighter has not actually fought fire for years and even hurt his back recently, limiting his training. He’s doing the stair climb out of a special relationship he had built with former Oak Bay News reporter Keri Coles, who died from cancer on Nov. 7.

“Keri was there the day a woman died on the balcony of the 843 Craigflower fire [on April 7], when a crowd of people witnessed that death,” Serbic said. It was the worst call of Serbic’s career.

“We had actually connected before that,” he added. “Keri did a powerful, touching story for the firefighting community on the loss of [Oak Bay Fire chaplain] Ken Gill.”

READ MORE: Funds launched for victims of fatal Esquimalt apartment fire

READ ALSO: Local firefighter to Climb the Wall in honour of late Black Press reporter Keri Coles

“I realized how amazing Keri was a person when she helped me set up the first of many Ken Gill Classic memorial classic hockey games,” Serbic said. “I feel honoured to climb those 48 floors fully loaded with bunker gear and on air in Keri’s memory.”

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke creates local business directory during COVID-19 pandemic

District’s community update asks residents for vigilance during crisis

West Shore RCMP seizes illegal drugs, imitation handguns in Colwood

One man and one woman arrested for weapons-related offences

Mental Health: A look at a fractured system

In this special series, Black Press Media reporters share stories from across Greater Victoria

VIDEO: Man breaks up Saanich road rage fight

Two men were throwing punches on Tillicum Road

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

Couple celebrates 61st anniversary through Vancouver Island seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ entertains home-bound kids in Cowichan Bay

Alora Killam, 16, played the part in musical two years ago

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Most Read