Saturday morning at the Accenture Tower in Downtown Minneapolis, 150 firefighters from 36 Minnesota fire departments gathered for the 7th Annual Fight for Air Climb.
"It's one of the signature fundraising events for the American Lung Association," said Maura Studer, director of development for the American Lung Association. "It's a great fundraising opportunity and it's a great way to bring the community together with the fire department."
The event is a fundraising opportunity geared toward fitness as well.
The goal is for the firefighters to climb 30 floors (660 steps), wearing full gear, which generally weighs about 60 pounds.
"Give a firefighter a challenge and we take it," said Lt. Colleen Elvin of the Apple Valley Fire Dept.
However, some firefighters admit they were more prepared for the climb than others.
"Our training usually starts around [the] October to November time frame," said Steve Baker of the Golden Valley Fire Dept.
St. Louis Park firefighters say they weren't quite as dedicated to training for the event as they were in Golden Valley.
"I run everyday, so I think that's all the preparation we've done," said Nancy Schmelzle of the St. Louis Park Fire Dept.
Schmelzle went on to say that she participated in last year's event and was the second overall female finisher, with a time of 7.5 minutes.
As for Saturday's event, those who trudged up the 660 steps felt the effects once they finished their ascent.
"I'm good. A little winded," said Lt. Elvin of Apple Valley Fire once she finished her climb. "A lot of sore butt muscles, but I'm really glad to be here."
"You sweat a lot, even though it's only seven minutes," Schmelzle said once she completed her climb.
Each of the participants were timed on how long it took them to climb the 30 floors, yet the number that mattered most to those gathered at the Accenture Tower was: $130,000, the amount of money collected for the American Lung Association.
"I feel like I worked hard," Baker said. "Our team worked hard. We raised some money today."