ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The third annual firefighter stair climb, honoring those first responders who died in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, took place at Frontier Field Saturday morning.
Firefighters from multiple departments across the state came to the stadium, to climb up and down the bleachers in full gear, equaling 110 stories. That is the same number that many firefighters climbed during the attacks on the twin towers in New York City.
“Chaos already ensued. There was tragedy all around us,” says New York City Fire Marshal William Ingram remembering 9/11.
Ingram was a responder at Ground Zero. He says the turnout today touched him deeply. “The brotherhood of the fire department, it’s all-encompassing, it doesn’t matter where you work. I was…it warmed my heart to see how many different departments and people were here,” he says.
The climb is to benefit firefighters in the Big Apple, and raise funds for the Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation.
“And we’re also in their boots so to speak. We now know what they felt like going up and down the stairs,” says Jack Gligora of the West Webster Fire Department.
A bell at the ceremony was rung at times, with the names of fallen firefighters said aloud. Gligora says many honor the dead year-round during the call of duty.
“A lot of us in the fire service we keep their badges on our helmets when we go into fires ourselves as a way of respecting the fallen firefighters,” says Gligora.
Ingram adds events like this keep the bold actions of the dead alive and helps their brotherhood press forward.
“And for people to stand with us, for the families and for the communities to be behind us supporting us…that’s what helps us keep going,” he says.