The first stair climb held to support the mission of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation was held on September 11, 2005 when five Colorado firefighters convened at a high-rise building in downtown Denver to climb 110 flights of stairs in memory of their FDNY brothers who were killed in the terrorist attacks of 9-11. The following year, twelve firefighters participated, representing four fire departments from the metro Denver area. Each subsequent years, attendance grew, until it was capped at 343 participants in 2008.
Since its beginning, the Denver 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb has evolved into a much anticipated annual events, and generated interest from individuals across the country who hoped to adapt the format and host an event in their cities. In 2010, the original Denver team partnered with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to create a template that would enable coordinator to successfully replicate a 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb anywhere in the United States.
National Fire Prevention Week this year will culminate with the National Stair Climb. This year’s stair climb is unique in that the National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation has expanded the scope of the tradition to also remember all of America’s fallen firefighters, and is the first event of its kind to take place in New York City with the support of the FDNY.
On October 10, 2015, eight members of the Jefferson Township Fire Company No. 1, as well as some of their family members travelled to Citi Field in New York to take part in the this year’s Stair Climb Event. Combined, they were able to raise $2,300 in total donations in support of the event. JTFD1 members who participated, dressed in full turnout gear including an air pack and climbed a total 2,200 stairs which is equivalent to the 110 story climb up the WTC which the FDNY members would have made on 9-11. Family members who made the trip, also participated in the event by completing the climb in regular clothes. It was a grueling climb and took most members approximately two to three hours to complete. Upon completing the climb, each member rang a bell and announced the name of the firefighter which they were climbing in honor of. Some chose the firefighter ahead of time, others who did not were assigned a firefighter at the time when they initially checked in that morning.