The Decatur Fire Department participated in the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb on April 29 at FDIC (Fire Department's Instructor Conference) in Indianapolis and was the second-highest fundraiser.

The annual event pays tribute to the New York Fire Department (FDNY) members who gave their lives so that others may live, according to organizers.

The climb provides assistance to the surviving families and co-workers of the 343 firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice on September 11, 2001.

The Decatur FD participants included Team Captain Craig Heyerly, Holly Heyerly, Jimmy Sheets, Justin Weil and Trevor Gray.

Their goal was to raise $1,000, but they brought in $1,665.40 in all – placing second among the 20 teams participating in the fundraising event!

It marked the fourth year the Decatur FD has participated.

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation says participants pay tribute to FDNY firefighters by climbing or walking the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center.

“(The individual tribute) not only remembers the sacrifice of an FDNY brother, but symbolically completes their heroic journey to save others.,” according to the foundation. “Through firefighter and community participation we ensure that each of the 343 firefighters is honored and that the world knows that we will never forget.

“These 9/11 Memorial Stair Climbs help the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation create and maintain programs that support fire service survivors.”

The first stair climb to support work of the foundation was held on September 11, 2005. when five Colorado firefighters convened at a high-rise building in downtown Denver to climb 110 flights of stairs in memory of their FDNY brothers who were killed in the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

The following year, 12 firefighters participated, representing four fire departments from the metro Denver area. Each subsequent year, attendance grew, until it was capped at 343 participants in 2008.

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