Three Bullard firefighters braved the heat to climb thousands of steps in honor of the 343 firefighters who died on 9/11.

Capt. Eric Rozell, of the Emergency Services District 2, said their task was nothing compared to what the firefighters at ground zero took on.

“Today in honor of the 343 firefighters w’re going to climb 110 stories,” he said.

Not only did the local firefighters climb 1,980 steps, but they did it in full gear in near 100 degree temperatures at The Brook Hill School football stadium.

“The guys that made the climb that day were in full gear; it’s the least we can do,” Rozell said. “It’s incredibly humbling.”

Rozell said he was glad to see students across East Texas taking part in remembrance ceremonies, even though most of them weren’t born yet.

About halfway through their endeavor, the Bullard firefighters got a bit of encouragement from Brook Hill athletes who were practicing nearby. Even with the heat beating down on them, the firefighters kept pushing.

“It’s a drop in the bucket,” he said. “It’s a small thing, but we feel inclined to do it.”

On 9/11, 343 firefighters and dozens of police officers died. In all, nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks on the World Trade Center twin towers, the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93.

In the years since 9/11, thousands of first responders and others who were in the area when the twin towers fell have developed cancer or other illnesses related to the dust released, according to the Associated Press. This spring a memorial was installed in New York City to recognize recovery workers who have died or become sick since working at ground zero.


Cory is a multimedia journalist and member of the Education Writers Association, Criminal Justice Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has appeared on Crime Watch Daily and Grave Mysteries on Investigation Discovery.

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