View a short video I was interviewed for by Fox Baltimore here.
This year’s Firehouse Expo 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb was a great experience for me. Not only was it a return to the first place I climbed (my first was 3 years ago at Expo), but this time my wife joined me for the climb (her first time). I am not sure how many people climbed, but I think it was around 100.
I still think it is a shame we don’t pack these climbs with at least 343 firefighters each time.
It was an honor to climb with my wife. I think she got a lot out of it and it helped her understand what it is all about. I have lost track, but I believe this was my 7th climb. (FDIC x 2, Expo x 2, FRI in ATL, PG MD, and one unofficial one in NYC).
Ever since doing my first climb, I have thought that the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb’s are great events for 3 distinct reasons.
- To Honor our Fallen Brothers and Never Forget
- To support the NFFF and more importantly the FDNY Counseling Unit
- Completing the climb is a good measure of your physical fitness level as a firefighter.
I think that many firefighters who attempt the stair climb realize that maybe they aren’t in as good health as they should be. Some have walked away to improve their health because of it.
I will give you a perfect example. Three years ago, when I did my first climb it was difficult but I completed it. This climb was much easier for me physically due to my increased level of fitness.
It was also an honor to be asked by Shane Parkins of the National Firefighters Endowment to climb for some other people who hadn’t been there. Shane posted in the NFE Facebook Page and got some responses for me to climb for others. I carried the names of: FF William J. Mahoney II Rescue 4, FF Robert W. Spear Jr. Engine 2, Lt. Kevin C. Dowdell Rescue 4, Captain Thomas T. Haskell Jr. Ladder 132, BC Joseph R. Marchbanks Jr. Battalion 12. My wife climbed for FF Joseph Maffeo.