Ocean City Today

OC Stair Climb held to honor fallen 9/11 firefighters, Sat.

By Kara Hallissey | Oct 26, 2017

(Oct. 27, 2017) Symbolically “carry” along one of the 343 firefighters who lost their lives more than 16 years ago during the fifth annual 9/11 stair climb at the Pyramid Condominium on 95th Street, this Saturday.

Participants will climb the steps six times in addition to two more floors, for a total of 110 stories, which is the number of floors in the fallen Twin Towers. There are 18 floors at the Pyramid Condominium and the event is open to everyone.

Each climber will carry a badge of a fallen firefighter with a picture, their name and the truck or place they were assigned to on 9/11. The event is a way to honor and remember the New York firefighters, police and emergency medical service workers who lost their lives while helping others.

“We continue to do it because it’s an opportunity to keep their sacrifice during 9/11 at the forefront of [the public’s] thoughts,” said Jay Jester, president of the Delmarva Emerald Society, who sponsors the event. “The farther we get away, people tend to forget and I won’t let the memory of 9/11 die.”

Registration starts at 8 a.m. and the first climbers will start at 9 a.m. The event is open to everyone. The registration fee is $30, which includes an official event T-shirt.

“The public has the opportunity to get close to something that impacted them,” Jester said. “I do the same job they did. This is a way to connect firefighters and the public to individuals who gave their lives. It is special because it keeps their memory and 9/11 alive.”

Proceeds will benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), a nationwide effort to remember and honor America’s fallen firefighters and to provide resources to assist their survivors.

Last year, about 87 climbers participated. Fifty-four are already confirmed for this year’s event. Organizers hope to have at least 100 participants.

“We have a really good chance to break last year’s record, but I am dying to have 100 [participants,]” Jester said.

The event is not a race, but an opportunity to honor the fallen firefighters. Volunteers and potential donors are encouraged to attend the event even if the stair climb itself is not an option.

After the climb, participants and their families will gather at Seacrets on 49th Street for brotherhood, good times and stories.

The first stair climb was held on Sept. 11, 2005 in Colorado. Five firefighters climbed 110 flights of stairs in memory of FDNY brothers who were killed in the terrorist attacks. The next year, 12 firefighters participated, representing four fire departments from the Denver area. Each year attendance grew until organizers capped it at 343 participants in 2008.

The Denver 9/11 memorial stair climb has evolved into an anticipated event and has generated interest from people across the country. Individuals have adapted the format and host events in their own cities.

In 2010, the original Denver team joined with NFFF. Together they created a template for coordinators to replicate a 9/11 memorial stair climb anywhere in the United States.

“This is open to the public,” Jester said. “You don’t have to be a firefighter or in emergency medical services to participate. We want everyone involved that wants to be.”

Register online at www.firehero.org/events/9-11-stair-climbs or in person at the event on Saturday morning. Registration is limited to 343 participants.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.