For the past 5 years the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb campaign has brought thousands of firefighters and civilians together to honor the people and events of September 11th 2001. At the FDIC 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb this year we saw over 600 climbers take to the stairs in Lucas Oil Stadium to start off the 2014 campaign. The number of stair climbs and participation in them continues to grow both nationally and internationally with each year, reaffirming the fact that we will never forget. To date the climbs have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the operating budget of the FDNY Counseling Services Unit.
In 2011 I was fortunate enough to meet with then FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano who had this to say about the donation made by the stair climbs. "This money will help ensure that the members of FDNY and their families will continue to receive the outstanding support and counseling they need as they navigate through challenging times," He explained that without this funding, some of the services offered by the unit would no longer be provided. "The Counseling Unit has helped many people save their jobs, their marriages, their families and their lives." The full Fire Engineering article on that visit and how the funds are donated can be found here "Why We Climb: Taking the Step to Honor and Heal"
As the years pass we continue to look for ways to expand our tribute and fundraising through appropriate means. Under the direction of the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation, three stair climb cities will be offering a training day prior to their climbs this year. The new campaign is to encourage participation in both the climb and training “Climb to Remember, Train to Survive”
With less than a month until we mark the 13th anniversary of September 11th 2001 I ask you to seek out a National Fallen Firefighters Foundation 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb in your area through this link www.9-11stairclimb.com If you cannot find one near you there is information on how to organize an event as well.
As far as the inaugural training days you can find them in Denver, Nashville and Charlotte, the flyers and links to register can be found below. I have the privilege of attending both Denver and Nashville this year; hopefully I will be seeing a full house in both cities. With your support of these three training days in 2014 they too will expand to more cities. Growth of this new initiative will bring more people together, more firefighters affordable training and fund more programs battling to honor our fallen and support their survivors. Looking forward to seeing you on the stairs or in a class next month “Climbing to Remember and Training to Survive”.