Firefighters prepare for 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb to honor victims

Firefighters prepare for 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb to honor victims

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- This year will mark 15 years since 9/11, where terrorists invaded and attacked our country killing thousands.  This weekend, firefighters from Lawton are joining hundreds more from Oklahoma and Texas to honor the lives lost by climbing up 110 flights of stairs.

The 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb is taking place tomorrow in Oklahoma City. Each flight represents the number of floors in the Twin Towers. 343 firefighters were selected from Oklahoma and Texas to participate in the event. Each firefighter represents a fireman who died on that day. There are 13 firefighters from the Lawton Central Fire station that will participate.
Firefighter Chad Meyer says this memorial climb is a promise to "NEVER FORGET" their brothers and sisters who have died in the line of duty. He's says to be selected for this event is a huge honor.

"The brotherhood of being there with everybody and just doing what I can to represent the guys that perished that day, said Meyer.

This is his second time participating in the event. Meyer will be climbing to honor Lt. Peter Martin, a New York City firefighter who didn't survive the attacks.

"It is a very humbling experience. The whole time you are climbing you get to thinking the guys who did this on 9/11, what was going through their heads, did they know what was going to happen, did they think the worse. Just what was going through their minds. It's grueling, the heat, being in full bunkers. Its tough, said Meyer.

Meyer said there are about 13 to 14 steps on each floor. He started training for the event a few weeks ago. Meyer says the fire fighter equipment is already about 80 pounds. Leg workouts helped prepare him for the climb.

"Hopefully I can finish it. Hopefully I don't embarrass myself and get too heated up and fall out, that my goal
, said Meyer.

"It's really all legs. It's pretty much all legs and enduring the heat in full bunkers. You train for legs, you train for climbing, but you can't really train for the heat. You just have to endure that, said Meyer.

At the end of the event each firefighter will place the name tag of the fallen firefighter they wore and place it on their companys fire truck. Meyer says he still remembers that special moment 2 years ago, when he participated for the first time and also honored Lt. Martin.

"That was probably the most emotional part for me. It was very moving and very humbling, said Meyer.

Central fire station will also have 4 firefighters to help with the opening ceremony.
Meyer says he hopes to participate in this event each year whether it's part of the climb or opening ceremony.

There will be a donation table set up tomorrow morning. The money raised will benefit the Oklahoma Firefighter Foundation, which helps families who have lost their home in fires.

The stair climb is tomorrow at the Chase Building in downtown Oklahoma City, just a few blocks from the Oklahoma City Memorial Site.

It will begin at 8:47, the minute the first tower was struck.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.