Letter: Firefighter's climb to top of World Trade Center
As a Helmsley firefighter I am taking on a challenge which will involve climbing 80 flights of stairs in full firefighting kit, in the heat of a New York summer, to raise money for charity.
I own a photography and picture framing business in Helmsley’s Walled Garden craft units, but am also working as a retained firefighter for the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.
This role led me to visit New York to meet fellow firefighters affected by the fallout of 9/11, which has inspired my fundraising.
On July 1 I will be one of more than 400 first responders taking part in the 4th Annual New York City Memorial Stair Climb - ascending the 80 floors of 3 World Trade Center.
Each climber will be honouring one of the 23 NYPD, 37 PAPD and 343 FDNY killed on September 11, 2001.
The climb will be done in full fire kit, including breathing apparatus.
Sponsorship money raised will go to the The Ray Pfeifer Foundation, which assists injured and sick firefighters and police officers impacted by the events of 9/11, with medical needs not covered by insurance.
To help raise additional funds, there will also be a charity car wash with the crew and fire engine from Helmsley outside the town’s Black Swan Hotel on Sunday, June 3.
The effects of 9/11 were felt worldwide.
I went to New York in 2016 and met with a firefighter over there.
He gave me a tour of the station and showed me the memorial they have in the fire house and I also visited the 9/11 memorial and museum which really brought home the impact it had made on the city and the world.
From that moment I knew I wanted to do something to help.
We’re a brotherhood, when one of us fall, we all feel it. Despite coming from different continents it was clear we shared the same values.
Hopefully I can raise some much-needed funds for this important charity. Thank you so much to anyone who sponsors me, every penny helps.
Thank you also to the St Alban’s Sports Centre at Ampleforth which has been letting me use their fitness suite and, more importantly, their Stair Master, to train on!”
Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so via https://climb.memorialstairclimb.com/fundraiser/1343191