Fifteen-hundred-and-four steps. Three-hundred-and-nine metres. One lone female firefighter carrying a bulky breathing apparatus and the memory of her late brother.

For Katikati's Hannah Weston the gruelling climb to the top of the Sydney Tower Eye as part of this year's Firefighters Climb for Motor Neurone Disease will be worth it.

"I lost my brother a few years ago. I know how hard it was to go through times like that, so that's a big part of why I'm now doing a lot more to help others. It's also a big reason why I joined the service," she said.

Weston's brother died in a motorbike accident.

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"There's not always a lot of help when you go through something like that, and this is my way of helping protect people from going through what I did. Plus it's kind of my way of giving back to the community."

Weston works for the Graeme Dingle Foundation which is based at four different Western Bay of Plenty colleges.

She said she got the idea for the Sydney challenge after talking to an Australian firefighter during the last Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge, which she has now completed twice.

By comparison, the Auckland Sky Tower stair challenge involves 1108 steps, 400 fewer than its Sydney counterpart.

"I've been doing a lot of strength and resistance-based training, and I've been going snowboarding to try to build up some more strength in my legs," Weston said.

"Anyone who knows me will say I'm crazy and will try anything. I just like to push myself, plus it's good for training. For firefighting, I like to keep my fitness up and my skills up so I can do my job properly."

Weston said she hoped to also create a "peak" challenge, involving climbing various peaks around New Zealand such as Whakapapa while in her firefighter gear.

"People see you climbing. They always ask if this is just training, and you say 'No, I'm doing this for charity as well', then that becomes a good way to raise awareness and fundraising."

Like the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge which raises money for charity, the Sydney challenge will raise money for Motor Neurone Disease research.

Katikati volunteer firefighter Hannah Weston is training to take part in the Sydney tower stair challenge in honour of her brother. Photo / George Novak
Katikati volunteer firefighter Hannah Weston is training to take part in the Sydney tower stair challenge in honour of her brother. Photo / George Novak

Weston also plans to take part in a memorial climb in Auckland on September 11 to honour all firefighters who have died on the job.

This year's Sydney Tower Stair Challenge will be held on October 20.

The Sydney Tower Eye is twice the height of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and four times the height of the Sydney Opera House.