An Edmonton firefighter had an especially freezing start to his Wednesday, when he spent more than two hours in an “ice coffin,” unofficially breaking the world record.
It was part of the annual firefighter campout on top of Fire Hall No. 2, braving the cold weather to raise awareness and funds for muscular dystrophy research.
As a way to ramp up the intensity, Wesley Bauman stood in an upright chamber filled with 500 pounds of ice for two hours and 20 minutes, swooping past the current world record of two hours and eight minutes.
“Usually the cold kind of clenches you up, so the idea is to kind of go into almost like a meditative state — just relax and try to distribute heat from my core to my extremities and last as long as I can,” Bauman said.
Last year, Bauman spent part of the fundraiser jumping into a 0 C bath, but took it to the next level this year with the chamber.
He trained by taking cold showers and ice baths every day.
“I started with cold showers just for my own mental health, it calms me down for the day,” Bauman said.
“He does this, he’ll go on his days off and go cut a hole in a lake with an ax and sit there and listen to music and hang out,” said firefighter Courtney Polson, who is also participating in the campout.
The fundraising goal for the campout this year is set at $100,000. As of Wednesday, the group estimates it’s about halfway there.
“This charity is near and dear to our hearts at this point,” Polson said. “We’ve gotten to know a lot of the family members, a lot of the individuals.
“There’s no quit for us as long as there is no cure, so we’re just going to keep going.”
Last year, the campout had to be extended to nine days to reach their goal. Donations can be made in person at Fire Hall No. 2 or online.
This marks the 15th year that Edmonton firefighters have camped out for the cause.