VENTURA, Calif. -

Local firefighters are joining the fight against leukemia and lymphoma.

Eleven members of the Ventura City Fire Department will go to Seattle for the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb on March 9.  The Ventura firefighters will be competing alongside 1,800 firefighters from around the world climbing 69 flights of stairs.

Team members are practicing when they can.  Sometimes they practice at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Ventura.  When the team members compete, they will be dressed in all their firefighting gear.  This equals about 65 pounds of equipment including an oxygen tank they must breathe out of during the challenge.  This is all to simulate what it would really be like working a fire in a skyscraper.

It is definitely not an easy challenge, but the firefighters NewsChannel 3 spoke with say, their inspiration this year Emma Bowels keeps them going.

“This year we have Emma Bowles.  She is a local middle school girl.  She goes to Anacapa Middle School.  She is our inspiration this year.  So we are helping her fight and we are helping her family out too,” said Ventura City Firefighter Jeremy Henderson.

Emma Bowels of Ventura is just 11 years old and last year she was diagnosed with leukemia.

The money Team VFD raises will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as to Emma and her family. 

Team VFD will hold a fundraising event at Barrelhouse 101 in Ventura on Saturday, March 1st.

For more information about Team VFD and how you can donate click here.