Waxahachie firefighters Billy Vest, Jason Eubanks and Shane Petty will be fulfilling a simple to “Never Forget” by climbing 110 stories in Dallas on Sept. 8.
The trio will be taking part in the Dallas 9-11 Memorial Stair climb that honors the 343 firefighters who died in the line of duty and those who have passed away from illness from working at Ground Zero.
“A lot of people died that day. When you hear the stories of people that could have stood at the door and not went in but went in anyway knowing the towers were going to come down,” Vest said. “There are stories of people that just got off duty and came back and went and ended up dying in the towers. Its pretty humbling,”
Vest said each person participating in the climb would be wearing full bunker gear and air packs. Firefighters will be climbing 55 stories of 56-story Renaissance Tower office building in Dallas.
Firefighters taking part in the event are given a full biographical sketch and accountability tag of a New York City firefighter who died in the line of duty or has passed on from working at Ground Zero due to their response and exposure. As of Sept. 11, 2011 69 have died due to exposure.
Climber groups will be assembled based upon the name they are climbing for, with the all of the fallen’s names placed into the same company assignments as those on Sept. 11. Groups will remain together throughout the climb, arriving together at the top.
The moment that each tower fell, 9:59 a.m. and 10:28 a.m., climbers will stop, activate their Personal Alert Safety Devices, taps will be played and a moment of silence will be observed. When firefighters reach the top they will place their accountability tag on a board and then rig a bell indicating that the firefighter they climbed for reached the top of the building.
In the lobby of the Renaissance Tower there will be a table of honor on display. This table will be to honor Texas firefighters who has been killed in the line of duty since the last year’s climb with a place setting.
Vest said this climb will raise money for the Texas Line of Duty Task Force, which provides support for Texas families and department that have lost a firefighter. Firefighters have been asked to solicit pledges of a minimum of $1 per floor.
People who wish to make a donation to the Waxahachie team go to
www.active.com/donate/2012dallasstairclimb and search local 3010 in the search box. For more information about the event go to www.dallasstairclimb.com.
Follow Andrew on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AndrewBrancaWDL or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AndrewBrancaWNI. Contact him at email@example.com or 469-517-1451