Firefighters climb 2,200 steps in honor of 343 NYFD

Published 3:18 pm Wednesday, September 15, 2021

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Firefighters are a tight fraternity. Their lives depend on that fraternity to thrive in order to accomplish their work on our behalf. The fraternity isn’t limited to those who serve in the same house, station or even state. The firefighter fraternity is a powerhouse all over the nation. An opportunity was given to our community to take 2,200 steps it would take the New York Fire Department (NYFD) to reach people on the 110th floor of the World Trade Center. The challenge was in memory of the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on 9.11.2001. At least four very special folks not only took on the challenge, but they also donned the full body gear of a firefighter to do so.

Lt. John Carroll

Fire Science and EMT Student, Will Toms

Lt. John Carroll, Battalion Chief Rick Bell, Will Toms and Clay Owens were present to take on the 110 floors. The challenge was not an easy one, as it came with the weight of not only their gear, but also of carrying the memory and honor of 343 firefighters. While Lt. Carroll and Chief Bell are seasoned in their work on behalf of our home, Will and Clay are just starting the journey. Will and Clay are enrolled at South Georgia Technical College in Fire Services/EMT studies. Will’s mother, Leila Henderson Toms, was proud of these men. “I think it is awesome what they are doing! They aren’t required to do it, they do it because they want to do it.” Leila also commented on the fraternity she is already seeing form between students such as Will and Clay. “I am thankful for their friendship and that they are taking this class together. The way they encourage each other is admirable.”

Fire Science and EMT Student, Clay Owens

Chief Battalion, Rick Bell

Will and Clay have no first-hand memory of 9.11.2001. However, much like the rest of the country, they see the honor, duty and passion of the firefighter and have decided to take up the call to provide the same to our community. There was success at the end of the day for these men. We are honored to call them ours.