First Responders Honor 9/11 Victims With Oklahoma City Stair Climb

“It’s a way for us to come out here and support our brothers and sisters in the fire department and recognize the sacrifices that we made on 9/11, both in the fire and EMS and police department,” said OKCPD Deputy Chief Brian Jennings.

Monday, September 11th 2023, 7:13 pm



Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, a day in American history that will never be forgotten. Firefighters, policemen, EMT workers, and even some civilians here in Oklahoma City, are honoring those that lost their lives on 9/11.

“It’s been 22 years since 9/11, and so our motto is never forget and so that's what we do,” said John Linley, president of the Oklahoma Firefighters Foundation.

It’s called the OKC 9/11 memorial stair climb, sponsored by the Oklahoma firefighter’s foundation.

“We help local first responder families or burn survivor families get into a hotel in the Oklahoma City area,” said Linley.

The 9/11 climb attracts climbers from all over the state.

“We have 343 firefighters, 61 law enforcement officers, 80 EMTs and medics,” said Linley.

All of them in full gear.

“When you think about it, you’re putting on about 70 pounds of extra gear as a firefighter,” said Linley.

For police officers it equates to around 25 extra pounds.

“It’s a way for us to come out here and support our brothers and sisters in the fire department and recognize the sacrifices that we made on 9/11, both in the fire and EMS and police department,” said OKCPD Deputy Chief Brian Jennings.

“They’ll be stressed, they’ll be hot, they’ll be tired, but every single time it seems like you’ll look down and you know what you’re doing it for, and you understand the cause,” said Linley.

Climbing 110 flights of stairs, not as a race but as a remembrance.

“This year we added flight 93 and flight 11 for127 civilians to be able to climb this year,” said Linley.

Along the way, encouragers cheer them on and in every stairway reminders of why they make the climb. Each climber is also given an accountability tag.

“Each lanyard has an accountability tag. That accountability tag is significant of, as the first responder or the person climbs the stairwell, you’re carrying someone with you,” said Linley.

Once the climb is complete, the tag is taken out and placed on the accountability board and climbers ring the bell signifying completion.

“They gave the ultimate sacrifice, you know they were willing to go to work that day and do the job, without hesitation and that is the values I have for myself,” said Taryn Rooney with the OKCFD.

A very tiring and emotional day for the climbers. To find out more about the Oklahoma Firefighters Foundation visit www.okstairclimb.com

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