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Local Firefighters Prepare for 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb - KOAM TV 7

Local Firefighters Prepare for 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb

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Many firefighters in the area are preparing for an annual event that honors the *343* firefighters that lost their lives on 9/11. 

Keenan Fyfe remembers where he was when the world trade center was destroyed on that fateful day in 2001. 

Keenan Fyfe, Neodesha KS Firefighter:"It was in 6th grade, and they actually pulled all the tvs that they had into the library at the school."

Seeing the event unfold is what inspired him to become a firefighter.
Now, he works at the Neodesha Kansas Fire Department, and is climbing stairs to prepare for the 9/11 memorial stair climb in Wichita. 

Fyfe:"It's awesome to see all these fireman come together and put on an event like this".

Firefighters climb 110 flights of stairs in full bunker gear to simulate what it might have been like for the 343 firefighters that died in the towers. 

Matt Stringer, Pittsburg Firefighter:"Physically it is a daunting task to climb a hundred and ten flights in full gear, emotionally, just keeping the thoughts of the fallen in the back of our minds."

It might not seem that difficult to prepare for an event where what you're doing is climbing stairs. But firefighters say it's much more than that because it takes a toll on you emotionally.

Brennan Tilley, Neodesha KS Firefighter:"They had radio traffic of the actual 9/11 events playing in the background, so that was something else to listen to just the entire time."

Each climber will carry a picture of one of the fallen .. further honoring their personal memory.

Thomas Vacca, Pittsburg Fire Marshall:"You know, you see that person's face and realize they had a family, they had brothers that they worked with in the fire house, so it makes it emotional for us to know that we're gonna carry their memory with us."

Paying tribute to each of those heroes is what helps many climbers take every step. 

Fyfe:"Thinking of all the 343 that made the sacrifice, it helps you push.. keep going, and it's definitely an awesome event."

Six members of the Pittsburg Fire Department -- and many from Neodesha, Chanute, Independence and Chetopa are participating in the event.

The memorial stair climb takes place Saturday in Wichita. 

If you want to learn more about the event just follow this link: http://www.wichitastairclimb.com/

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