National Stair Climb to Honor All U.S. Fallen Firefighters
The inaugural event is set for Oct. 10, 2015.
New York Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro joined Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki, executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, on June 17 to announce the inaugural national stair climb in memory of all fallen firefighters across the United States. Representatives from Kidde Fire Safety and United Technologies participated in the announcement in Manhattan.
On Oct. 10, 2015, firefighters and members of the public will gather at Citi Field to climb more than 2,200 steps, raising money to benefit FDNY's Counseling Services Unit and programs that support the families of fallen firefighters structured by the National Firefighters Fund. "These event are necessary because, simply put, firefighting is a dangerous job," Nigro said. "It is a rewarding and fulfilling career like no other, but it is a dangerous one, whether you work in a densely populated urban area like New York City, a rural area like many parts of the country, or you battle wildfires out west."
Approximately 100 firefighters die in the line of duty annually in the United States. "For a decade, firefighters and citizens have honored fallen firefighters by climbing 2,200 steps in buildings across the country, symbolizing the 110 floors of the World Trade Center FDNY firefighters began to climb on September 11th, said Siarnicki. "For the first time, we will host a national stair climb where anyone can be a hero to the survivors of all of the nation's fallen firefighters."
"At the Counseling Services Unit we talk about everything and anything. People grieve and share experiences; the unit is there to help everyone," said retired Battalion Chief Edward Henry, a 41-year veteran of FDNY, who served with Battalion 20 in the Bronx. Both Henry and his son Joseph, of Ladder Company 21 in midtown Manhattan, responded to the World Trade center on Sept. 11, 2001. Joey died. "I have two other sons who are firefighters, both retired, and having the unit and being able to talk with other people having similar experiences helps firefighters and their families find the best available benefits and services," he said.