WARRENSBURG — Firefighters from across the Kansas City region attended the Kansas City 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb on Sunday, Sept. 8, to honor the lives sacrificed by the New York Fire Department during the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
During the event on Sunday, 343 firefighters climbed to the top of the 110-story Town Pavilion in downtown Kansas City. Each firefighter in attendance climbed in honor of one of the 343 firefighters killed during the events of 9/11.
Weston Farmer, a fire protection specialist at the Warrensburg Fire Department, was one of four firefighters from Warrensburg to participate in the event this year.
This marked Farmer’s sixth time participating in the event. He said he finds it be challenging, but said he has always had a great experience with the group from his department.
Farmer also said he finds the event to be an important reminder of those who gave their lives on 9/11, with it being especially important now that more 18 years have passed.
“The generation that is graduating this year will be the last one that was born prior to the events of 9/11,” Farmer said. “We have firefighters coming in who don’t remember what happened on 9/11.”
Farmer also said the events that took place on 9/11 had a big impact on the safety awareness of the firefighting profession.
He said 9/11 caused firefighters to be more aware of the long-term dangers that can arise, as a number of firefighters on scene at the Twin Towers on 9/11 have since been diagnosed with cancer and other complications.
While being a part of the firefighting profession had already provided Farmer and his colleagues with some training for the event, the four of them began training months prior. In addition to regular physical fitness training, they also had to be prepared for the heat and the weight of the gear.
The stair-climbing practice that would be put to the test at the Kansas City 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb usually took place at the University of Central Missouri Multipurpose Building, where the arena’s 6,500 person seating provided an ideal spot for stair climbing.
Proceeds from the event supported the Surviving Spouse and Family Endowment Fund, whose funds provide financial support to surviving spouses, dependents and parents of firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency services personnel who have lost their life in the performance of their duties.