Home LOCAL PARIS NEVER FORGET: Lamar County Firefighters climb 110 stories for those who couldn’t

NEVER FORGET: Lamar County Firefighters climb 110 stories for those who couldn’t

by MyParisTexas
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On Saturday, Sept. 7, three Lamar County firefighters joined hundreds of other first responders in the 9th Annual Dallas 9/11 Stair Climb in honor of those who lost their lives on 9/11. 

Firefighters, Police Officers, and EMS personnel from North Texas and beyond meet annually to honor the memory and sacrifice of their fallen brothers and sisters who died on September 11, 2001. and since from illness or injury as a result of the cleanup efforts following the attacks. 

Tyler Jeffery and Logan Lane with the Paris Fire Department were joined by Reno Volunteer Firefighter Erin Jusseaume

While wearing their duty equipment, firefighters, police officers and EMS personnel climbed 110 stories symbolizing the trek to the top of the former World Trade Center Towers. 

“Climbing up there to them was just another job; they had no idea it was an attack. You’re standing there – even though it’s not the twin towers, and you’re looking at that tall structure and listening to the family members before it begins – it makes it all that more real for what those guys did not know,” Jeffery said. 

Each climber was also assigned the name of a first responder who lost their life on 9/11 and on the day they were given the photo and accountability badge to which they stuck to their gear and climbed with. 

Jeffery climbed for Michael J Lyons a firefighter on Squad 41, Lane climbed for Gregory R Sikorsky a firefighter from Squad 40, and Jusseaume climbed for Michael J Cawley a firefighter on Ladder 136.

At the completion of their climb, each climber read the name of who they were climbing for in honor out loud before placing the badge on a plaque. 

This year, the event included climbers from 186 Texas cities along with those from Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and two international climbers from France and Australia. 

Former New York City Police Officer, Thomas Wilson, served as the keynote speaker at this year’s event. On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, Officer Wilson was assigned to 90 Precinct as the Burglary Apprehension Team (BAT) Sergeant/Supervisor. 

When the North Tower was struck, Officer Wilson was stationed at the Williamsburg Bridge, first shutting the bridge down to allow emergency vehicles to cross. Once the South tower was also struck, he called for backup to the bridge. 

“As all trained and vehicular service was discontinued on the island of Manhattan, residents and workers started fleeing the city on foot via Williamsburg Bridge,” said Officer Wilson, “After Ground Zero, I was stationed at the Fresh Kills Landfill sifting through debris looking for remains.”

In November 2002, Officer Wilson became a Police Officer in Suffolk County, New York, where he still serves. Officer Wilson has been receiving treatment through the World Trade Center Health Program since 2006 and was diagnosed with an aggressive form of tongue cancer in 2008, requiring a portion of his tongue to be removed. Through the program, he was certified with a total of nine cancers and related illnesses from his work around Ground Zero. 

During his time as a Police Officer, Wilson has been awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Award Medal 2011, Police Commissioner’s Excellence Service Award Medal, Cop of the Year Award 2013, Cop of the Year Award 2016, and Police Combat Silver Medal in 2019. 

“It was a very surreal experience,” said Jusseaume, “Hearing the stories from first responders who were there on that day to pausing whilst climbing each time a tower fell was very emotionally humbling. What we did doesn’t even compare to what they went through but it is our way of honoring those who lost their lives on 9/11. Now I understand the term ‘Still riding’.” 

“It’s a great way to remember the sacrifices made that the first responders did that day and to be able to give back to a great organization was also great. In honor of them, we climbed because they climbed,” Jeffery said. 

The group said that the task of finishing the climb for those who couldn’t was an indescribable feeling and such an honor to have been able to do that in their names for the families. 

“It was an awesome experience to be a part of. It’s a pretty grueling climb, and seeing the way everyone from the climbers to the spectators encouraged each other, bonded and kept each other up was amazing,” Lane said.

“The 9/11 stair climb is a way for us to remember our brothers and sisters that made the ultimate sacrifice that day. This is one way we can remind ourselves of what our fellow Americans and others did that day,” Reno Fire Chief Chad Graves said.  

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