Firefighters raise over £4,500 in memory of 9/11 victims

Saturday 11 September, marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States, an event which tragically took the lives of 3,000 people including 343 emergency responders.

To honour those lives lost, staff from across the Service came together to take part in a charity challenge climbing the equivalent height of 110 stories of the World Trade Centre for 102 minutes, the length of time between the first crash and the last tower collapsing.

Over 30 members of staff volunteered to take part in the challenge which was held at Ashton Gate Stadium, with each volunteer donning full fire kit representing the kit worn by those who responded to the terror attacks 20 years ago, weighing approximately 25kg.

The team started their climb at 8:46am, the time the first hijacked aircraft hit the North Tower and finished 102 minutes later at 10:28am - the time the second tower collapsed on 9/11.

Overall, the challenge was a huge success, raising an impressive £4500, all of which will be donated to The Fire Fighters Charity.

Watch Manager & AF&RS Charity Lead Rich Wheeler said: “We all remember the awful events which occurred on 9/11, and this year marked the 20th anniversary. As a Service we wanted to do something special to honour and remember the 343 members of the firefighting family who lost their lives in the emergency response and all others who sadly lost their lives.

“I wanted to thank those who took part and volunteered in the challenge, and what a challenge it was to climb those stairs for 102 minutes in full fire kit was truly something and I know it wasn’t easy, but we did it, and we raised a huge amount of money for a fantastic charity while honouring those lives lost on 9/11 – so thank you.

“I’d also like to thank those who donated and gave so generously, we’ve managed to raise just over £4,500 which will go to a fantastic cause.”

Cllr Brenda Massey, Chair of the Avon Fire Authority, added: “On the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, our crews set themselves an incredible challenge in memory of those firefighters who lost their lives 20 years ago while responding to the devastation. By taking on the stair climb for 102 minutes, those involved felt just some of the challenge that firefighters responding to the attacks felt that day.

“I am in awe of the strength and dedication of the firefighters and staff who took on the challenge. On behalf of the Fire Authority, I’d like to say a huge congratulations to all those involved, for taking the challenge in their stride and raising money for the worthy Firefighters’ Charity.”