EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – Many people want to remember or do something in honor of a 9/11 memorial on this day of loss.
Firefighters from across several counties in North Georgia are doing just that as they climb 110 flights of stairs today at Workout Anytime in East Ellijay, Georgia.
Planned by Bill Cesak, Workout Anytime Ellijay Owner, and Jordan Mabra, Cherokee County Firefighter and Workout Anytime Ellijay Fitness Director, the event hosted firefighters from the City of Woodstock, Cherokee County, Cobb County, Gilmer County, and Pickens County, and others joining in.
“It’s our way to recognize these guys,” says Cesak, “We believe Cops, EMTs, Firefighters, those guys go so unrecognized. It’s our little way of doing something.”
While this is not the first time a gym has done a stair climb, Mabra said it is his first time doing this as a 9/11 memorial. Having trained for the event for roughly a week and a half, Mabra wanted to finish in under 30 minutes. A feat he accomplished with seconds to spare. But these firefighters aren’t just climbing the same number of stairs that those who served 18 years ago did. These firefighters are doing it in their protective gear.
Putting on the boots, pants, jacket, and helmet that are meant to protect against the intense heat of a structure fire weighs down in extra poundage as these men and women climb the grueling skyscraper simulation.
Mabra said finishing the 110 flights felt similar to coming out of an intense structure fire. Saying he felt beat up, it made him think about the emergency responders on that day. He said, “It just puts you in the mindset of those guys. I know they had the adrenaline going and everything, but to be facing what they were facing. I was just in gear, they had their air packs on. They might have been carrying somebody. And they were doing multiple trips.”
With more coming in throughout the day, the 110 flights challenge continued as men and women in these services today look back. They take more than a moment, they take 110 flights of stairs to consider what others did on that day. They take 110 flights of stairs to consider their 9/11 memorial.