Local firefighter encourages community to ‘fight for air,’ one step at a time

Orange County firefighter Stephanie Nixon is raising money and inspiring others one step at a time.

On Feb. 18, hundreds of firefighters, law enforcement officers and community members will take part in the Orlando Fight for Air Climb.


During the annual events, participants will climb 25 flights or 512 steps to the top of the City National Building.

Funds raised from the Fight for Air Climb support the mission of the American Lung Association and their efforts to defeat lung cancer, champion clean air, improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families, and create a tobacco-free future.

Nixon said that her very first challenge as part of the candidate’s physical abilities test to become a firefighter was to climb a certain number of stairs, within a specific time while wearing 75 lbs. of gear.

“That very first time I tried, and I failed,” Nixon said. “After that, with motivational support from one of my mentors Jason Wheat, a few weeks of rigorous training, and sheer willpower, I did it!”

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This will be Nixon’s second time participating in this event and is working to raise more money than any local firefighter has raised before.

Nixon’s training includes 100 flights of stairs a day and she encourages others to join her through a daily challenge on social media.

“Every day I see people with respiratory issues,” said Nixon. “We see firsthand how important it is to stay active, lead a healthy life and support those that may not be able to help themselves.”

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“If I can do it, anyone can,” Nixon added.

“The American Lung Association has continued admiration for all our local firefighters and emergency responders, and we are thankful for their continued support of the Fight for Air Climb, said John Rendle, chair of this year’s climb. “The inclusion of firefighters and first responders like Stephanie from across Central Florida is what makes this event so unique. And this year to add to the excitement, we will feature the Austin Duran Firefighter Challenge, honoring our first responders impacted by lung disease.”

Registration is $35 and includes a $100 fundraising minimum. To learn more and register for the Orlando Fight for Air Climb, CLICK HERE.

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