Today, I’m proud of my brother-in-law, Grand Island firefighter, Seth Ross. He climbed 110 flights of stairs. In full turnout gear.
He was one of 343 firefighters who participated in the Denver Stair Climb. 110 flights of stairs because the World Trade Center was 110 stories tall. And 343 firefighters climbed because that is how many of New York’s finest we lost on September 11, 2001.
Seth climbed for William S. O’Keefe, one of those 343.
343. That number is hard to fathom but that’s how many ran in but never came out. And all the other firefighters who survived simply say, “I was just doing my job.”
I’m proud of my brother-in-law for the amazing physical feat he accomplished today and the reason why he did it. But, I’m even more proud of him every other day. When he’s out there “just doing his job”.
Like so many others, he goes to work every day knowing he may be asked to risk his own life to save someone else. When the bell rings, they answer. They respond. They rescue.
Risking their own lives may “just be doing their jobs” but they do it for people they probably don’t even know. They do it for me and for you. Selflessly.
Across the country, firefighters are just doing their jobs today. Some are putting their lives on the line out west fighting the wild fires. Some are rescuing hurricane victims down south.
Some are pulling someone from a wrecked vehicle. Some are doing CPR to bring someone back from the brink. Some are running into a burning house to get the family out. Some are in a school presenting fire safety to kids. Saving lives through prevention. Some are working out in the gym on their day off to make sure they stay physically fit enough to do whatever physical task duty asks of them tomorrow.
And some are climbing 110 stairs today to remember their fallen brothers who just did their jobs for the last time on 9-11.
Have you thanked a firefighter lately?