110 stories to climb
Annual stair climb honors 343 firefighters who died on 9/11
Cassville firefighters will be participating in the 6th annual 9/11 Springfield Area Memorial Stair Climb on Sept. 22 at Missouri State University’s Plaster Stadium.
The first stair climb of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) was held on Sept. 11, 2005. Five Colorado firefighters used a downtown Denver high-rise, climbing the equivalent of 110 stories to represent the number of floors in the twin towers. In 2010, the original Denver participants partnered with the NFFF to enable firefighters to replicate the 9/11 Memorial stair Climb across the United States.
This year, the Springfield Area Memorial Stair Climb will encompasses more than 150 firefighters from five states and 300-plus participates including family. The stair Climb will begin at 8 a.m. and will continue until all firefighters are finished.
To date, climbers for the Springfield Area Stair Climb have raised more than $9,500 for the NFFF. All registration fees will be directed to the NFFF and will assist the surviving families and coworkers of the 343 firefighters killed on Sept. 11, 2001.
The Cassville Fire department will have at least four firefighters, plus their family members, participating in the event, and the South Barry County EMS team and family members will be joining them this year.
“This is my fourth year doing it,” said Travis Littler, firefighter with the Cassville Fire Protection District. “It’s a great opportunity to show remembrance of the firefighters and everyone who lost their lives on 9/11.”
For the last three years, the event had been held at Silver Dollar City, but this year, it has been moved to Springfield. Everyone who signs up by a certain date receives a T-shirt from the Springfield Area Memorial Stair Climb.
In 2016, the Climb offered a memorial bell to the department that raised the most donations. The first year it was available, Cassville won it. Last year, the Southern Stone County Fire Protection District earned it.
“Last year, we raised around $1,300,” Littler said. “I am proud to be a part of this event.”
Littler said the event usually takes anywhere from one to three hours to complete, but it isn’t a race.
“There are guest speakers every year,” Littler said. “It is very emotional and touching.”
The Cassville Fire Protection District is still taking donations for the NFFF. As of Friday, people have donated $485 toward the District’s $1,500 goal. For more information, people may visit the fundraiser website at http://events.firehero.org/site/TR/StairClimb/General?team_id=7432&pg=team&fr_id... or call the station at 417-846-4005.