Firefighters Mark 9-11 — By Climbing 110 Flights Of Stairs [VIDEO and PHOTOS]
As panicked New Yorkers fled the scene of the burning towers on Sept. 11, 2001, the New York City firefighters ran toward it.
More than 300 of them died.
To commemorate their sacrifice, firefighters from the Casper Fire-EMS and the Mills Fire departments ran up the equivalent of the 110 flights of stairs in the World Trade Centers on Friday, the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
The Mills Fire Department ran up the stairs at the First and Center Building downtown, and Casper Fire-EMS used their regional training facility on Landfill Access Road.
Both commemorations honored the sweat and grit of those who carried upwards of 100 pounds of gear to try to save other lives while losing their own.
The Mills Fire Department honored the fallen with a special air tank.
"We came up with a SCBA (Self-contained breathing apparatus) bottle that we had wrapped with 343 firefighters names that had passed away during that tragic event," said Brooks MacCrae, breathing hard after his run. Nine other personnel from Mills also participated.
"We did carry this bottle up the 110 flights of stairs," MacCrae said. "That was in memory of how many flights of stairs they had to carry, and then we also added two more flights for the two firefighters that have passed away through the years here."
Those firefighters were Adam Longo of the Natrona County Fire Protection District who died on duty on April 18, 2012, and Casper Fire Department Capt. Jeff Atkinson who died of cancer on Sept. 11, 2014.
Over at the drill tower at the Casper training center, firefighters signed in to do their runs near a small poster with these words:
"We shall never forget.
We shall keep this day;
We shall keep the events and the tears
In our minds, our memory and our hearts
And take them with us as we carry on."
Below are photos of the Mills Volunteer Fire Dept. doing the same thing at the First and Center Street building in downtown Casper