This event is open only to firefighters who have full approved structural firefighting turnout gear. All firefighters must be donned, or donned and started for this event. See below for full Equipment requirements.


The Firefighters Sky Tower Stair Challenge runs in the following categories:

Donned, Male / Donned, Female (donned category based on gender, not age)

Donned and Started (based on age and gender - see age categories below)

Firefighter of Steel is a donned only category based on age and gender as per categories below:

- 16-39 (Open)
- 40-49 (Masters)
- 50 -59 (Grand Masters)
- 60+ (Supreme Grand Masters)

Firefighter Team – not based on age or gender, a team must have 3 or more members donned and started. Those who qualify for the Firefighter Team category will also be eligible for the individual donned and started category. All team members must enter in the individual event to be eligible for the team event.

There is no limit to a teams size, only the first three home from each team times are added to give the placing.


The event is open to firefighters only. To be eligible to compete in the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge competitors must be currently employed in the active role of a firefighter.

Firefighters may be employed Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Airport Rescue Fire Brigades, Industrial Brigades, and Rural Fire.

Minimum age for participation is 16 years old

Competitors from overseas must be currently employed in a recognised brigade in the role of firefighter, and on request be able to supply proof of employment as such.

Volunteer firefighters are also eligible to compete provided that they are active in the role of a firefighter at the time of the event.

Firefighters must be fully fit to compete, they must not be currently on sick leave from work or unfit for full firefighting duties. Proof of medical fitness to compete may be required by the organisers.

Other support Fire Service roles may apply to the organisers for consideration to compete however this will be solely at the discretion of the organisers and subject to space.

Squad 2018 is an exception to these rules and will be at the organisers invitation only and limited to competitors of the organisers choice


In the 'Firefighter Individual and Team', competitors are required to bring and compete in the following equipment. This equipment will NOT be provided for the competitor:

- Nationally certified, Structural Firefighting entry helmet
- Nationally certified, Structural Firefighting turnout coat
- Nationally certified, Structural Firefighting turnout pants
- Nationally certified, Structural Firefighting gloves
- Nationally certified, Structural Firefighting entry boots

Note: Nomex Hoods will NOT be required for competition.

Turnout coat and pants must meet New Zealand National Standards or NFPA 1971 standards on protective gear for structural firefighting, and must not be altered for the competition in any way.

Competitors in the Firefighter (Full Gear) events will be required to wear and use an approved Fire and Emergency Service New Zealand or National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) compliant Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and mask. In some cases the event organiser shall provide this equipment for the competitors.

All competitors will be expected to complete the total ascent on one cylinder of air filled to the manufacturer’s specifications. NOTE: Firefighters who feel they will need to make a cylinder change may do so if they provide their own spare approved cylinder and a person to perform the change and be responsible for the cylinders. To arrange this please contact the event organisers prior to the day of the event.

Any competitor in the donned and started category who removes their mask or fails to complete the course while using the SCBA will be unplaced and deemed to be disqualified from that category, unless this is due to a malfunction of the equipment, in which case the competitor may, at the discretion of the event organisers, be given the option to complete the climb again with new equipment.

All competitors in the donned and started category must have completed approved Breathing Apparatus training and be familiar with its use, no briefing is given on use of the equipment on the day. Any competitor who has not completed this training or does not feel confident using it in this event must run in the donned category only.

Any competitor who does not complete the course in either category will not be given a placement in any category in the event.

The event staff shall inspect the gear at the muster area prior to the competition and again at the start area immediately before starting the climb for compliance. They have the authority to disallow any equipment or any competitor that is not compliant. Competitors not able to secure approved equipment in a timely manner will be removed from the event.

All competitors are responsible for their own equipment. NOTE: Any equipment from a brigade or loan gear on the day that is damaged or is not returned, the individual competitor may be held responsible and may be required to replace the item at their own expense.


There will be a minimum of two (2) Advanced Paramedics on site and a further number of qualified medical personnel totaling no less than 5. An ambulance will also be set up as a triage point at the base of the tower, however this may be subject to availability on the day.

All medical and event staff have the authority to remove any participant from the event should there be a perceived medical risk to themselves or others on the day.


Fundraising medals are awarded to first through third place in each category:

- Class 1: 2 - 5 Team members
- Class 2: 6 - 9 team members
- Class 3: 10+ Team members
- Individual Fundraiser within in team
- Individual Fundraiser

Race medals are awarded to first through third place in each category:

Donned - Only places 1st-3rd in both male and female

Donned and Started and Firefighter of Steel categories - 1st-3rd in both male and female as per categories below:
- 17-39 (Open)
- 40-49 (Masters)
- 50 -59 (Grand Masters)
- 60+ (Supreme Masters)
- Team event – Fastest three to finish donned and started for the same team

Please note: While there is no limit to a teams size, only the first three home from each team times are added to give the placing.


The winner is the competitor with the fastest time from the starting line to the finish line, providing they comply with the rules and requirements of the category they are entered in at the start of the event

The fastest three competitor’s individual ascent times will be used to score the team event. Competitors can place in both the individual and team event.

In the team events the team time is the aggregate of the 3 fastest team members individual event times for the same station or district.


The Team Captain will pick up the bag with all timing chips and race numbers inside, they will confirm at this point that the contents are correct.

Competitors in the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge must check in one hour prior to the start of the event.

General race rules & behaviour

All competitors shall have their number attached to their running/firefighting gear during the competition.

Competitors are responsible for being at the start area 25 minutes prior to their designated start time.

Upon passing through the start gate, competitors may ascend the stairs taking as many steps at a time as they choose.

Slower competitors will allow the right of way in passing to any competitor who has approached them on the way up.

Competitors may stop, if needed, but preferably only on landings to avoid blocking stairwells.

Event staff will help any competitor who asks for, or is in obvious need of, their assistance to gain medical attention. If required the competitor will be guided via elevator to a medical area for further attention. Any competitor who is removed from the event will be recorded as did not finish.

Competitors who come across others in need of assistance must stop and assist and request further assistance from others as necessary. Competitors may also be required to stop and assist medical or event staff and must not decline if required.

Competitors must follow all instructions of Event Staff, Medical personnel and SKYCITY Fire Wardens or security at any time during the event if required to do so.

Any questions or requests on the day should be directed to the event organisers. Categories may be changed at request on the day but only prior to the start of your event and subject to you providing your own equipment if this is required for the change of category.

No re-runs will be allowed on the day, however if the event is stopped by the organisers for any reason, those who have already started but not finished and who are required to halt at a certain point, or a competitor who is required to stop and assist during the course of their climb for any reason, subject to time allowance, the event organisers will arrange for to run again.