Stair Climb

Steve Burns/WCBS 880

Firefighters Climb World Trade Center To Honor Victims Of 9/11

July 01, 2018 - 2:12 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Hundreds of first responders from around the world participated in the annual NYC Memorial Stair Climb on Sunday.

The annual climb to the top of One World Trade in Lower Manhattan is meant to honor and remember those who gave their lives trying to rescue others during the 9/11 terrorist attack.

Though, the event was particularly challenging today due to the extreme heat settling over New York City.

“You know the higher you climb, the hotter you get,” said Jasper Strensom , one of the firefighters who made the trek up 800 flights of stairs in full gear.

Strenson, who lives just outside Seattle, Washington, says he does stair climbs all over the nation but none are as important as this one.

“You know they’re right there on your back, lifting you up the stairwell,” Strenson said. The stairwell is lined with photos of the firefighters and first responders who died on 9/11.

“Once you stop, that’s it. It’s game over,” said NYPD Officer Sarah Frankel. She said pushed herself to keep going and carried the blue line flag with her.  

This year’s climb benefits the Ray Phfifer Foundation, named for the firefighter who sorted through the rubble at Ground Zero for eight months. Phfifer passes away last year but the foundation aims to help other first responders now suffering for 9/11-related health problems.