Firefighters from across the state will climb 110 flights of stairs in Redwood City this weekend to memorialize their New York counterparts who died responding to the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center.
The firefighters will meet Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks, at one of Oracle Corp.’s 16-story buildings in Redwood Shores and ascend the stairwell seven times to equal the number of floors in the fallen twin towers.
Each participant will don a firefighting jacket and wear the name of at least one of the 343 New York Fire Department firefighters and paramedics who died that day.
“If you’re tired, all you need to do is think about that name on the back of your jacket and you’ll get another spurt of energy,” said Mickey Noack, a 10-year Redwood City firefighter who is organizing the climb.
Most of the 180 firefighters — paid, retired, volunteer or cadet — who have signed up for the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb work at Bay Area agencies, from Mill Valley to Santa Cruz, though some are coming from as far as San Diego, Noack said.
Colette Harmon, a 20-year engineer for the Gilroy Fire Department, said firefighters “are all connected via our jobs, so it is a big extended family” that feels a sense of loss when a firefighter dies.
“For me it just is a way for me to pay honor to [those] who gave the ultimate sacrifice,” said Harmon, who is helping Noack plan the event.
Noack, who attended a similar climb in Sacramento last year, said she is urging family and friends of the participants to show up and cheer them on as a symbol of support for the families of the deceased firefighters.
“All those folks will be there hooting and hollering and telling those firefighters to get back up there seven times,” Noack said.
The climbers will be wearing shorts and athletic shoes, not their full gear, and the event is not timed. Noack encouraged other firefighters who want to participate to simply show up on Saturday.
Registration for the event is $25 and proceeds will be donated to The Widows and Children’s Fund of the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York.
WHEN: Saturday. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m., followed by a ceremony at 8:30 a.m. and the climb at 9 a.m.
WHERE: Oracle Corp. campus, 300 Oracle Parkway, Redwood City
MORE INFO: Contact Mickey Noack at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 205-5521.