A TEAM of firefighters have narrowly missed out on setting a new world ladder climbing record - but raised hundreds of pounds for charity during the attempt.
Firefighters from Skegness, Boston, Kirton and Leverton battled with heat and exhaustion on Sunday as they tried to surpass the current 25.8 mile record for the greatest distance climbed on ladders in eight hours.
Despite their valiant efforts, the group fell just short of the mark at 23.5 miles, before collapsing to their knees for a group hug by the platform constructed at the Skegness RNLI station.
Skegness station manager Gary Millson said: “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life - I’ve run marathons before but his was a full body work-out.
“There was a large crowd there on the day who were cheering and clapping and that really spurred us on and made life a little easier for us.
“And there was an excellent team spirit considering we were from stations split across Lincolnshire’s East Division and some of the guys had only met each other once or twice before.”
Although they narrowly missed their world record target, the team found greater success in their fundraising efforts.
A generous £742 was collected in donations made by well-wishing on-lookers during the event, which will go to the Firefighters Charity.
“The Firefighters Charity helps injured firefighters, their family and dependents, which in times of tragedy can be a real lifeline,” explained Gary.
They chose the challenge after being inspired by the London 2012 Olympic Games. And Team GB’s many successes helped to spur them on further.
Gary added: “We were looking for a fundraising event we could attempt, which we could look back upon with a sense of pride and accomplishment and the timing of the Olympics made perfect sense.”
In preparation for the event the group had spent time climbing the 19 flights of steps at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital.
Throughout the day, the group consumed a staggering 192 bottles of water and £80 worth of energy drinks to remain hydrated as they climbed relentlessly in the sweltering heat.
Despite the enormity of the challenge and the physical strains it placed on the participants, some of the team are already considering a second attempt.
The group would like to thank Rilmac Scaffolding for supplying the scaffolding and Foundation and Buildings for providing the food.