September 11th is just one month away. Dozens of 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb’s will be occurring within days of each other across the United States. Some have already been completed including the FDIC climb and Firehouse Expo climb (I climbed in both).
I have written about these climbs a lot. The truth is that I think every firefighter should climb at least once. I don’t tell people why to climb, but I explain what they might get out of it. I have gotten a lot out of each climb.
Now, for a short rant…
The Model City Firefighter tipped me off to the lack of climbers at FRI. Read what he had to say here.
This weekend, there will be a 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at Fire Rescue International (FRI). FRI is put on by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC).
The IAFC is comprised of Fire Chiefs from everywhere.
Here is the problem…
Currently, there are only a dozen people signed up to climb at FRI.
Yeah, let me repeat that…
There are only a dozen poeple signed up to climb at FRI
When I think of the IAFC, I think Fire Chiefs, Leadership, Responsibility.
Everywhere on the IAFC/FRI web site you will see the words LEADER, LEADERSHIP, LEADERSHIP EDUCATION, etc.
It’s probably the largest gathering of Fire Chiefs in North America. Our leaders, managers, administrators, etc. will converge in Chicago for a great event full of learning, networking, and rubbing shoulders.
Somewhere, somehow, someway…they are missing the boat.
Maybe FRI attracts the wrong Chiefs. The bulk of them are missing the boat on a huge leadership, team-building, and honorable event.
I am willing to give some the benefit of doubt and say that MAYBE some simply haven’t signed up yet.
You mean to tell me that of all of the Fire Chiefs, leaders, and other fire service personnel who will be attending FRI in Chicago, there are merely a dozen who will climb.
Let me remind you why we climb….
We climb to honor and remember the 343 firefighters who were murdered on September 11, 2001.
We climb to raise money for the FDNY Counseling Unit. The same unit who helps firefighters cope with the loss of their Brothers.
Let me go one step farther…
I CHALLENGE Every Chief and Firefighter attending Fire Rescue International to at least register to climb. Whether you cannot physically climb, or have another conflicting event, you should register to climb and donate the $25. I will not be attending FRI this year, but I am don’t just talk the talk…I registered to climb and will have my Brother Andrew Catron carry a name for me in my absence.
9-11 Memorial Stair Climb
Thursday, August 15
Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers
The 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb is not a timed event but a way to remember and honor the firefighters who selflessly gave their lives to save others on September 11th. Participants will walk the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center. The proceeds support the National Fallen Firefighers Foundation. Register today! (Sign up is separate from FRI registration.)
As some of you know, Captain Wines and I will NOT be attending Fire Rescue International this year in Chicago. We were planning on being there, but our plans changed and we will shoot for next year.