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Wash. FF-EMT scales Mount Everest for third time

Despite a near-death experience in 2017, Josh McDowell returned to the world’s tallest peak for another summit success story


Firefighter-EMT Josh McDowell poses for a photo at the summit of Mount Everest.

Photo/West Pierce (Washington) Fire Fighters IAFF Local 1488

By EMS1/FireRescue1 Staff

SPOKANE, Wash. — After a near-death experience on Mount Everest in 2017, Firefighter-EMT Josh McDowell once again climbed the world’s tallest peak earlier this year, marking his third time to reach the summit, reported.

Speaking with the IAFF about his achievement, McDowell discussed the similarities between firefighting and mountain climbing/guiding – such as the supportive relationships developed with both his fellow first responders and mountain climbing team.

“With both guiding and firefighting, we must go into ‘work mode’ and rely on our training to navigate challenging tasks,” he said. “Both jobs have put me in life-or-death situations where staying calm and focused is crucial. People count on us, and we can’t let our guard down.”

Finding an outdoor outlet is important for first responders, McDowell said, due to the nature of their work.

“Hiking, climbing, hunting, mountain biking, or running are crucial for us. Our job is physically and mentally taxing. Being active outdoors helps us stay fit and relieves job stress,” he said.

And mountain climbing is his top suggestion: “If you have the means to make it happen, I encourage anybody that wants to do that to do it.”