Local hero takes on Memorial Stair Climb
Published 12:56 pm Saturday, September 26, 2015
On Sept. 11, 2005, five Colorado firefighters came together at a high-rise building in downtown Denver to climb 110 flights of stairs in memory of the Fire Department, City of New York (FDNY) brothers who died during the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
Each year, the climb has grown with more participants. In 2010, the original Denver team partnered with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to create a template that would enable coordinators to successfully replicate a “9/11 Memorial Stair Climb” anywhere in the United States. The stair climbs help support the mission of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
This year on Sept. 13, Scott Maynard of Franklin participated in the 9/11 “Memorial Stair Climb” in Richmond.
Maynard, a Franklin firefighter since 2007, was also in the Navy for 20 years. He prepared for the stair climb by doing a lot of running and walking. He also wore his firefighter paraphernalia and air pack around town.
“The climb was a very humbling experience and it was a lot harder than I imagined — very tiring and exhausting,” he said. “When you got there and signed in, you got a card of a fallen firefighter with their name and picture on it and that is who you walked for during the climb.”
When the terrorist attacks happened on 9/11, Maynard was in the Navy and stationed in Connecticut.
“We were so close to New York and we all kept thinking was another attack could happen and this time it could be here,” he said.
Maynard, who lives in Franklin with his wife of 16 years, Jennifer, and their two daughters, Elizabeth and Adeline, talked more about the stair climb and how it was set up.
“Pictures of 9/11 — the attacks, those we lost, everything — were placed throughout the building and the stairway,” he continued. “It is always hard to see all of it, but these climbs are for our brothers who couldn’t make it back down those stairs.
“I can’t explain the feeling of coming back down the stairs and making it to the bottom. All I kept thinking about was all of those who didn’t get the chance to come back down on 9/11,” he said. “At the end of the climb, they had you ring the bell and announce the fallen firefighter who you were walking for. The whole experience, the way I felt while doing it and the way it left me feeling, is pretty indescribable.”
Maynard said that he definitely plans on doing another stair climb so he can continue to support and remember his fallen brothers.
More information on the stair climbs can be found at www.firehero.org.