Five local firefighters will be reaching for the sky on Saturday.
Jack Brawn, Kirsty Levien and fire chief Shane Gourlay, of Maketū Volunteer Fire Brigade and Jodi Purdie and Matt Atchison, volunteers at Te Puke, will be powering their way to the top of the Sky Tower at the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge.
Only Jodi has tackled the 1103 step climb before.
The event is a fundraiser for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand and, as well as sponsorship for the climb, each brigade has been collecting vehicle batteries as a way of adding to their contributions.
Matt, a volunteer for three years, says one of the attractions is that the event brings firefighters from brigades across the country together.
''It also keeps us fit for service, which is another great plus because it's a physical job,'' he says.
One of the tricky areas for Matt in preparing for the climb has been balancing volunteering, work and training.
''There's a lot of pressure on at work at the moment but [preparation's] going all right. I've been training at the gym and doing a lot of running and a lot of climbing hills.
This will be his first time tackling the challenge.
''I'm looking forward to it, but I'm a little bit nervous about it. It's as much a mental game as it is physical and there are so many things that can happen.''
There are various categories of climb though most, including Matt, opt for the donned and started category - climbing in full gear and breathing through breathing apparatus.
''The main goal is to make it up there still breathing [through breathing apparatus], because if you run out of air you get docked, so it's a little bit more complicated than just running up some stairs and getting to the top.''
He has set a target of 20 minutes for the climb, but says he already intends to use this year to get a baseline for another shot at the tower climb next year.
Six year volunteer Kirsty says she doesn't think anyone from the Maketū brigade has attempted the challenge before.
She came up with the idea then roped in Jack and coerced Shane into making it a trio.
''I said 'you're the chief, so you have to do it','' she says.
Kirsty has been training at Pāpāmoa Hills and Mauao, but not with a cylinder on her back.
''I probably should have, but I haven't yet,'' she says.
''I've possibly been a bit slack, but I've started to get back into it. I'm not going to rush it, all I want to do is finish.''
Kirsty will also be in the donned and started category.
''I'm looking forward to it, but I'm a bit nervous,'' she says. ''But I'll get there.''
Maketū Rotary has made a donation towards the brigade's fundraising for the climb and WTF Print have provided some signwriting.
Jack says completing the stair climb has been a dream since he joined the brigade six years ago.
''There's no real reason behind it, I just thought it was such a cool thing to do and achieve. It's a good cause, but it's also a personal challenge.
The Maketū trio haven't had as much of a chance to train together as they had hoped, but Jack's work helps his fitness.
''I work in kiwifruit, so I walk around kiwifruit orchards all day, every day, carrying a big backpack so it's really good training actually.
He says he hopes to complete the climb in less than 30 minutes.
''The only advice I've had is to take two steps at a time - apparently it's easier to do that.''
Also in the donned and started category, he doesn't want to run out of air part way up the climb.
''If you run out, you are bumped down to the category down [donned, not started].
''That would be a real kick in the guts because you've worked so hard to get almost to the top wearing it and you could have just run up with no mask on.''
Jack also anticipates attempting the climb next year.
He says the closer the climb gets, the more nervous he is becoming.
''It's a really long way up. You look at the Mount and it's not too bad, but you've got to do that twice, and that's a bit scary.''
The Firefighter Stair Challenge takes place at Sky Tower on Saturday.