THERE are 88 floors on the Eureka Tower and next month firefighter Matt van Tilburg will be climbing up every one of them — in full gear and with a breathing apparatus strapped to his back.
In total, his helmet, jacket, pants and apparatus will weigh about 25 kilograms. The challenge will be a huge step-up for the 22-year-old, who tackled the Eureka Climb last year in about 13 minutes.
"It was probably the hardest thing I'd ever done," he says.
But when he saw members of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade take on the tower in their suits last year, he saw a challenge he wanted to meet. "Huge respect for the guys who did it last year."
In November, the Glen Waverley firefighter will face that challenge with teammates Matthew Hester, Samuel Jennens and David Valsorda.
The team aims to raise money to help Interplast Australia and New Zealand send doctors and nurses to Asia and conduct free surgeries for people with congenital conditions like a cleft lip or accident burns. It will also give a portion of money raised to youth charity Whitelion.
For two team members it will be the first time tackling the tower, but the team's strategy is simple: take two steps at a time and keep up a consistent pace.
While he doesn't expect to be on par with last year's finishing time, Mr van Tilburg predicts the 'MFB A Shifters', as the team is known, will be crossing the finish line at the 15-minute mark. "Im happy with anything between 15 and 20 minutes."