IMPERIAL-Imperial Valley residents showed their support for the 9/11 World Trade Center Fallen Firefighters Saturday evening by attending, and for some, participating in a stair climb at the Imperial Valley Expo. The El Centro Fire Association held the 9/11 stair climb to raise money for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF).
Hardy participants of the event signed-up to climb 1,980 steps which consisted of 110 flight of stairs, the same number as the downed World Trade Center, at the Imperial Valley Fairground stage area. Most of the first firefighters that rushed into the World Trade Center on that fateful day 13 years ago died with the others in the attacked building. Climbing the number of stairs, commemorated the 343 fallen firefighters and raised money for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. The cost of the event per participant was $20 for the climb, which included a souvenir shirt.
As the local Fire Fighters and residents climbed the stairs they wore badges with a photo on it and biographical sketch of a firefighter who was lost on September 11, 2001. After receiving a badge the climbers did 5 laps on the stairs, when finished with the 5 laps, the climber then decided if they wanted to do a second 5 laps for a another Fallen Hero.
“Today we have 206 guest walking, we originally wanted 343. I made the badges for the participants, it’s all the 343 firefighters that lost their life during 9/11. We are the 3rd in the State of California to do this kind of event.” Said Tiffinie Macias one of the coordinators for the event as she handed out badges.
The United States Congress created the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to lead a nationwide effort to remember America’s fallen firefighters. Since 1992, the tax-exempt, nonprofit Foundation has developed and expanded programs to honor our fallen fire heroes and assist their families and coworkers, all the proceeds from this event were donated to the NFFF.
Matthew Zinn, Vice-President for the El Centro Fire Association, worked together with other firefighter’s of the Imperial Valley to coordinate the event. “This is something other Fire Fighters have done since 9/11. This year the idea was to bring us all together, all the Imperial Valley Firefighters,” said Zinn about the 9/11 Stair Climb.
For more information on the how to donate to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation you can go to http://www.firehero.org/ or (301) 447‑1365