Defiance County firefighters climbing to honor fallen 9/11 victims

Members of the South Richland Fire Department in Defiance, along with other firefighters and first responders, met up to honor 9/11 victims by climbing the same number of flight of stairs as floors in the World Trade Center.

Posted: Sep 11, 2020 12:47 PM
Updated: Sep 11, 2020 11:49 PM

DEFIANCE, Ohio (WFFT) -- One hundred ten flights of stairs. The same number of floors in the World Trade Center. That’s how long firefighters in Defiance County climbed to honor the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001.

At the Planet Fitness in Defiance, South Richland Fire Department, other firefighters and first responders met up to honor 9/11 victims.

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South Richland Firefighter and Chaplin Ron Monteith has been a volunteer firefighter for over 10 years, and was one of the older participants on Friday.

He says he organized the stair climb to keep alive the memory of those lost that day.

"I didn’t want us to forget. It’s becoming that people don’t realize what happened or they tend to forget what happened," Monteith said. "I just don’t want people to forget the sacrifice of the first responders and the over 3,000 people that were killed."

When Planet Fitness manager Matt Stantz got the call about hosting the climb, he says it was easy to say yes, especially with having a member of his family being a firefighter.

Stantz said, "I think the only way we’re ever going to continue to remember is to have people like these firefighters, and all the firefighters in all the other departments do these types of things. I think it’s important for our youth to know what happened."

So firefighters and first responders from South Richland and Defiance, in full gear, climbed, and climbed, and climbed.

Just like the New York firefighters did 19 years ago to try and save as many lives as possible.

A moment Monteith says he’ll always remember.

"I don’t want to let this go, ever as long as I have the physical ability to do [this], I want people to remember," Monteith said.

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