OKC Firefighter Honors Friend in Fight for Air Climb

IMG_0891.JPG Members of the OKC Firefighters Local 157 are often seen participating in marathons and other physically demanding events throughout the year. Some participate in these events to connect with the community, others do it to push themselves physically. For one Oklahoma City firefighter, his motivation is personal.

Brock Gibbins has been with the OKC Fire Department for over a decade. He enjoys the opportunity to train for fitness events and be pushed by his fellow firefighters. But the Fight for Air Climb is a little different. The time preparing is just as fun, if not more so because it is not a typical event.  

Fight for Air Climbs are unique fundraising events for the American Lung Association. They usually happen in prominent skyscrapers, stadiums or arenas and involve climbing multiple steps. The 2014 OKC Fight for Air Climb will be held in Leadership Square. The climb consists of 70 stairs. If that isn’t tough enough, Brock and 20 other OKC Firefighters will be wearing their firefighting equipment, which weighs more than 50 pounds!

The reason Brock is so passionate about the annual Fight for Air Climb is simple. One of his closest friends, Mel Penn lost his battle with lung cancer more than three years ago. Mel was a healthy happy 60 year old prior to his illness. He lead a healthy lifestyle, was full of energy and had a great spirit. He fought the good fight and the awful disease took his life about a year and half after he was diagnosed. He was always positive, even when he started to look like a cancer patient. He never lost his spirit.

Brock Gibbins with his son

Brock Gibbins with his son

Brock has participated in the Fight for Air Climb for several years now and continues to push himself a little more each year. He says, “When I approach the last stories of the building, I remember Mel’s energy (or it may be the lack of oxygen, as I want to pass out!) and always attempt to finish strong, just as he did in life.” This year’s OKC Fight for Air Climb is this Saturday, March 29th and begins at 9:00am. Come out and cheer on the participants, including many of your OKC Firefighters!

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