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Firefighters climb 110 stories to honor their fallen brothers

 

Seven Oxford firefighters participated in the Kansas City 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb held yesterday to honor the firefighters who died 10 years ago. 

The memorial, which involved a group of 343 firefighters across the country, featured these men climbing 110 stories in remembrance of the firemen who lost their lives in the World Trade Center 10 years ago.

“The event is important to remind people you can show up one day at work and you never know what could happen,” Capt. Timmy Dickenson said. 

“You come in and respond to false alarms every day and one time something like that happens. All those men in the Trade Center had lives and families, and you just don’t know what’s going to happen when you come into work.”

This year’s event took place in Kansas City, Mo., and began at 9:30 a.m.

The event has been held two years in a row and the overall goal is to raise donations for the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation and Never Forget The Fallen.

Cary Salis, Randy Jones, Braden Theobald, Matt Tatem, Ethan Peterson, Randy Bundren and William Stuart are the seven Oxford firefighters who participated in the event.

“The men who participated were selected on a volunteer basis,” Dickenson said. “We had more this year than the year before. These men are the type that are prepared and enjoy this type of physical activity, and that pays off.”

The volunteers have been training for this since mid-July by getting to work around 5:30 a.m. every morning, climbing up the stairs of the football stadium or up the stairs of the Stockard and Martin dorms in full gear and uniform every time.

“No one sees us until something bad happens, but we have to constantly stay in really good shape to carry all of the equipment, to stay in the fire and keep going back in the fire,” Dickenson said. 

“We come in every day and do exercises and constantly do classes. We never stop learning and training.”

The 343 volunteer firefighters who participated in the memorial represented the 343 fallen during 9-11 and the 110 story stair case represented the 110 stories of the World Trade Center.

“Everybody who participated was given a picture and name of one of the firefighters who died on 9-11 to represent one of the fallen in the climb,” Salis said.

Climbs are held all over the country every year on 9-11 in order to shed light on the importance of the event and the sacrifice made by those who gave their lives in the World Trade Center.

The Oxford Fire Department participates in these runs every year, training and traveling on their own time and money.

“We have some caring guys in this department and everything was done on their time,” Dickenson said. “The message we are trying to send is not to take anything for granted because you just never know what is going to happen.”