- For the second year in a row, firefighters from Marathon Petroleum’s Los Angeles refinery took part in the Fight For Air Climb at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
- In its 16th year, the unique event which challenges participants to climb hundreds of stairs in the coliseum to raise money and awareness for the American Lung Association.
- The proceeds raised support lung disease research, educational programs and advocacy efforts.
Firefighters from Marathon Petroleum’s Los Angeles refinery returned to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum this year to take part in a unique climbing event, Fight For Air Climb, that challenges people to take the stairs at iconic venues.
In February, members of the refinery’s fire department took part in the 16th annual event along with hundreds of other participants to raise money and awareness for the American Lung Association’s mission to end lung diseases, including COVID-19.
“It was an honor to take part in an event like this to not only raise money, but also awareness for those suffering from lung disease,” said Mike Martinez Sr., who along with his son, Mike Martinez Jr., both firefighters at the Los Angeles refinery, climbed the coliseum stairs for a second year in a row.
“There’s something about that feeling when you reach the top, knowing that’s how someone battling lung disease might feel like every day.”
For this father-son duo, the climb is personal. “Lung cancer took my father in 2016,” said Martinez Sr. “Participating helps me carry on his legacy, with my son climbing alongside to remember his grandfather.”
The Martinezes were joined by first-time participants from Marathon Charlie Vanisi, Brian Santos, Esteban Esqueda and Michelle Lee, all of whom completed the 2,500-step climb. Some of them did it in their full firefighter gear.
“There’s something about that feeling when you reach the top, knowing that’s how someone battling lung disease might feel like every day,” said Lee. “Individually, I can only do so much monetarily but having the support of our company made the climb’s purpose that much more worth it.”
For a second year in a row, the Los Angeles refinery made a $3,000 donation to the cause as a sponsor of the event.
The Los Angeles refinery fire department, which has 150 firefighters, is not only trained to respond to a potential emergency event at the facility, but they also provide training and assistance to local fire departments.