Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It was a climb to remember. Dozens of firefighters from around the nation scaled the stairs at one Baltimore hotel.
As Gigi Barnett explains, it’s part of a promise made to families of fallen firefighters.
Dressed in full gear from head to toe, dozens of firefighters braved the stairs at Baltimore’s Hilton Hotel. It’s a climb to commemorate fallen firefighters nationwide.
“It was good,” said Danielle Celli, a firefighter from Pennslvania. “A little hot.”
The climb is part of the Fire Expo that draws hundreds of firefighters to Baltimore. It’s also a fundraiser to keep a promise made to families of the fallen.
“We see what they go through when they’ve lost a loved one in the line of duty and we’ve committed ourselves to honoring them and supporting those families,” said Victor Stagnaro, National Fallen Firefighters’ Foundation.
This year, each step remembers the 19 firefighters killed in the Arizona wildfire last month and 10 others who died back in April, fighting a plant explosion in the Texas town of West. Of course, they also remember those lost on September 11.
“It’s a hard blow because we know that it can happen to any one of us at any given moment, second or location,” said Baltimore Fire Department Chief Jeffrey Segal.
Each climb up is 22 floors and firefighters have to do it five times. That represents the height of the World Trade Center at 110 floors.
Along the rise, there’s encouragement not to give up and to remember those who gave all.
This weekend’s climb raised about $4,000 for families of fallen firefighters.