Firefighters Climb Stairs to Honor 9/11 Fallen

It’s been 18 years since 9/11 occurred in New York.
Sunday, firefighters and communities across the state took time to honor the victims in downtown Montgomery. It was part of the 8th Annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at the RSA Tower.

“This is my first year for me. I just wanted to see what it actually took to climb all those stairs and actually be apart of a team,” climber Dylan Sword of the North Montgomery County Fire Department said.

Each climber walked up 22 flights of stairs, five times each. It represented the 110 stories of the World Trade Center.

“Those that were alive on 9/11 obviously know exactly where they were, what they were doing and how they felt. But those that weren’t can only learn by what we share with them,” event organizer Lt. Dana Grubbs said. She’s part of the Pike Road Fire Department, which hosts the event annually. Funds raised benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

“In the event that we do have a tragedy here at home, that is the foundation that is going to support that family. That is the foundation that is going to help those survivors pick up and find some new normal,” Grubbs said.

2019 marked the largest number of climbers in the events history with about 350 climbers from fire departments and other groups. Some we spoke with say the climb took a lot of physical strength and mental focus.

“You get to about floor 16, and to get to those last few, it gets hard,” climber Ashley Moore said.

“Just pushing each other, you know. Once you started getting gassed, just stop and take a breather and keep on going. It’s pretty rough, I mean I feel like I’ve been in the pool,” climber Tyler Fincher said.

Moore knows just how important first responders are. Her father, Donnie Davis, was involved in a near fatal car accident.
He lived and was the guest speaker at the Stair Climb opening ceremony.

“(I climbed) just to remember all of our first responders and of course 9/11, and also for my dad,” Moore said.

There are now about fifty memorial stair climbs held nationally. Over one million dollars has been raised for the NFFF.

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