FDIC Wrap Up: 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb

This year at FDIC, I climbed in the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. Captain Wines was not able to climb this year, so it was a first for me climbing without him. I think this is my 6th climb and second one at FDIC.

More coverage of FDIC 2013 on Fire Critic Facebook Page

Ringing the Bell for Lt. Brian G. Ahearn (Engine 230) and Firefighter Scott Michael Kopytko (Ladder 15)

It has always been an honor for me to climb. The event is typically one of the hardest things I have ever done. This year was different.

This year, I was in shape. This year, I was ready for it. It was still very tough, but this time instead of me needing help from others I was able to offer my help.

I began climbing with my Brothers Andrew Catron and Jared Lindholm. Soon after the start, I came up to my Brother Sonny O’Connor and he was taking a break. I couldn’t pass him. I couldn’t simply walk past and hope that he would be able to push through by himself…so I stayed with him. I stayed with him to the end, walking at his pace. We met up with others along the way who were struggling. Like I said, the CLIMB isn’t easy. It never has been, it never will be.

It didn’t matter that I wasn’t moving at a pace with the rest of the pack. It didn’t matter that some of the group was slower than others. What mattered to me was that we would finish the climb. We took turns carrying each others gear to give each of us a break from the weight and heat of wearing gear.

I climbed for Lt. Brian G. Ahearn (Engine 230) and I also climbed for Firefighter Scott Michael Kopytko (Ladder 15). I carried Kopytko’s name for a Brother who couldn’t climb.

In the end, our group of Brothers finished the climb. We pushed ourselves and made sure everyone finished. It is as much mental as it is physical. Our mind plays tricks in telling ourselves to give up because it is so physically grueling.

It didn’t matter how we got there…we finished. As a matter of fact, we had 450 climbers this year. It is the first time I have climbed and had 343+ climbers.

Thanks for climbing with me Brothers