Libby Fire fighters make a difference

Photo of Neil Benson and Brian Hobday, local Libby Volunteer Fire Department Firefighters. Photo courtesy of Tom Wood, Libby Fire Chief.


By McKenzie Williams


On Sunday, March 10, Neil Benson and Brian Hobday represented the Libby Volunteer Fire Department in the 28th Annual LLS (leukemia & Lymphoma Society) Firefighter Stair Climb.

The LLS Firefighter Stair climb is the world’s largest on-air stair climb competition, and annual fundraiser held at the tallest building in Seattle, Wash., the Columbia Center.

All 2,000 participants were career or volunteer firefighters who climbed up the second tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi wearing full gear that weighs over 50 pounds, while on-air.

Throughout the 69 flights of stairs and 788 ft. of vertical elevation gain, every step forward was representative of moving closer to a cure.

All proceeds raised directly benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and since its inception in 1991, this event has raised over $17 million.

For six years in a row, LVFD has represented Libby at the LLS Firefighter Stair Climb.

Benson, who has been with the Libby Volunteer Fire Department for 12 years, made the climb for his fifth time. Hobday, a member of LVFD for nearly three years, made the climb for his third climb.

Definitely no small feat, Benson and Hobday proved themselves as they conquered the 1,356 steps leading to the observation deck of the Columbia Center. Benson and Hobday raised over $3,650.

Benson, finished the climb in 23 minutes, two seconds, and shattered his 2018 climb by nine minutes. Hobday reached his destination in 16 minutes, 46 seconds and beat last year’s time by almost two minutes.

“On behalf of all of us at LVFD I want to thank the community of Libby for always having our backs and being so supportive. They have raised thousands of dollars for the LLS Foundation. We are always looking for volunteers, stop by the firehall for a info packet or go online at for information if you are interested in becoming a member.” said Fire Chief, Tom Wood.