Some will climb to remember a relative. Some will climb to honor a friend. And some will climb to show gratitude for the great sacrifices made 16 years ago. Together, firefighters, police officers and the public will climb the stairs of Belmont Park to pay respects to our nation’s fallen firefighters and to support their survivors.
On Sunday, Oct. 1, the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) will host the 3rd Annual National Stair Climb for Fallen Firefighters at Belmont Park. This is the first time the Stair Climb will be held in Nassau County, paying tribute to the 496 Long Islanders who were among the almost 3,000 killed 16 years ago. Of those, 125 fallen FDNY members were from Long Island.
“The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation performs extraordinary work providing resources for the families of fallen heroes across the country,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “By climbing steps each year, every participant not only raises funds to support the families of FDNY members who made the Supreme Sacrifice, they also ensure those we have lost are never forgotten.”
Gates open and on-site registration begins at 8:30 a.m. As hundreds did last October, participants will climb the equivalent of 110 stories to symbolize the steps of the World Trade Center Towers. All climbers will receive a t-shirt and a name badge for the firefighter they are honoring.
“The National Stair Climb for Fallen Firefighters is a journey of hope, raising funds to help programs for surviving relatives of firefighters across the country,” said Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki, executive director of the NFFF. “Approximately 80 firefighters die in the line of duty each year in the U.S. and this is a way to let the families know they and their firefighters are not forgotten.”
The stair climb is a family event and we encourage you to bring family and friends. An After Climb Party and Races will begin at 11:30 a.m., featuring a BBQ Buffet and unlimited draft beer and soda.
There will also be bounce castles, pony rides and fun for the entire family. In addition, the New York Racing Association will raffle two 2018 Belmont Stakes Day reserved seats valued at $200 each.
The Belmont racecard will include races to honor the following members of the FDNY:
Deputy Commissioner William Feehan
Chief of Department Peter Ganci, Jr.
Assistant Chief Gerard Barbara
Assistant Chief Donald Burns
Deputy Chief Michael Fahy
Firefighter William Tolley
Firefighter Raymond Pfeifer
Firefighter James Lanza
EMT Yadira Arroyo
For more information and to register, go to www.nationalstairclimb.org.