Of the 2,977 people who died on Sept. 11, 2001, 343 were firefighters. This year marks the 21st anniversary of the terrorist attacks that forever changed the New York City skyline, and the Bishop Fire Department is inviting the community to join the volunteer firefighters in remembering the men and women who lost their lives that day.
“Each year we climb to remember and honor those lost that tragic day,” said Joe Dell, Bishop Fire Chief. “The stairs humble me, and I always ponder how far up I would have made it if I were in that position.”
The event will begin with onsite registration and check-in from 5-6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, on the bleachers and grandstands of the Mike Boothe Memorial Arena at the Tri-County Fairgrounds. A ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. with the climb to follow at 6:30 p.m. The firefighters hope to have 343 people participate in the climb. Each participant will be given the name of a fallen FDNY firefighter to carry with them as they ascend and descend the equivalent of 110 flights of stairs, which is 52 rounds up and down the grandstands. Water will be provided. New this year, there will be prizes for the top fundraising team and the top fundraising individual. There also are prizes from the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation for individuals who reach various fundraising milestones.
The 9/11 stair climb originated in Denver, Colorado, where a group of firefighters climbed the equivalent of 110 stories, the height of the World Trade Center, as a tribute to the fallen FDNY firefighters. The tradition has spread throughout the fire service as participants gather donations for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Many firefighters choose to do the climb in full turnout gear, as the FDNY firefighters did in the World Trade Center. Bishop is one of only two official NFFF stair climbs in California this year.
The link to sign up for the Bishop 9/11 stair climb can be found at firehero.org, under events, 9/11 Memorial Stair Climbs, events by date. Scroll down to Bishop, then register or donate online. All proceeds from the event go to the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation, which provides support and services to the families of fallen firefighters nation-wide. Registration is $30 per person and includes a commemorative event T-shirt. Additional funds can be raised by both teams and individuals.
(From Bishop Fire Department)