MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Sunday the Pike Road Fire Department held its annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. The mission of the event was to honor the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
More than 200 first responders and community members participated. Firefighters dressed in full gear climbed 22 floors at the RSA tower five times in a row to represent the 110 stories of the World Trade Center.
“This was definitely a challenge. My hat goes off to the guys that actually did it. That is the thing driving me to finish up today,” said Trussville firefighter Jacob Carr.
Organizers say for those who take the challenge, it is a small token to remember the bravery shown that day.
“The experience inside the stairwell gives those who are first responders a much more real experience of what happened on 9/11. It also gives those who are not first responders a true experience of what it is like,” said event coordinator Dana Grubbs.
For many of those who are not first responders climbing, the stairs was a humbling experience.
"To see these men and women who go up in their full gear like that - and they do it all the time - it is amazing. I think that we could all give them a thumbs up and thank them for everything they do,” said Becky Duncan.
Jennifer Schapp, with Montgomery Team RWB, said this event puts into perspective the sacrifices first responders make and the appreciation they deserve daily.
"The important thing to remember is there is not a lot of people who would lay down their lives for you and these people are willing to do that every day when they go in,” said Schapp.
This is the seventh year for this event. The stair climb benefits the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. There are more than 50 events held around the country like the one that took place Sunday.