The Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service firefighters complete their Everest challenge

Fundraising firefighters reach Everest Base Camp News SCS Group

Group SCS is thrilled to hear that a team of firefighters, who recently headed to Everest Base Camp (EBC) and Kala Patthar (Black Rock) in a bid to raise money for The Firefighters Charity, have completed their challenge.

We were pleased to sponsor the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service firefighters, who as a team have now raised just over £19,500 for The Firefighters Charity.

Everest Base Camp is 17,600ft above sea level and Kala Patthar has an altitude of 18,208ft. At this height there is less than 50% oxygen and the temperature can drop as low as -37°c.

Craig Sadler, Watch Manager at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and a member of the challenge team, said: “The whole team made it to Everest Base Camp but unfortunately two team members became ill with altitude sickness and had to be medically evacuated via helicopter to hospital. They are all ok now. Six of the team were fit enough to trek the next day to Kala Patthar (higher than EBC). The scenery, the people, absolutely everything was amazing.”

‘Life changing’

He added: “For many of the team this challenge has been life changing, we have pressed a reset button. Everyone we met were so happy, polite, helpful and supportive. They are very poor and have very little, they work extremely hard and are very proud. It has made us think of all the things we take for granted: clean water, food, warmth, clean clothes. I firmly believe that less is more!

“We were able to tell our story to lots of people about our reason for doing this challenge: raising awareness of mental health in the Fire Service.”

Fundraising firefighters reach Everest Base Camp News SCS Group

Before setting off on their adventure, the team told us: “Mental health problems in the Fire Service have risen by a 1/3 in the last 6 years. 85% of Fire and Rescue personnel have experienced stress and poor mental health issues.

“Fire service personnel are more likely to experience mental health problems than the general workforce. This can affect their performance, relationships and physical health.

“We have seen lots of good friends and colleagues that have suffered and are currently suffering from mental health problems such as PTSD, depression and anxiety.

“The money we raise will help to provide psychological support to firefighters following traumatic life and death incidents.”

All the firefighters taking part funded the trip themselves.

Want to find out more about the journey?

Visit the JustGiving page