“Telling the Stories of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community”

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“Telling the Stories of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community”

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October 7, 2022

Annual Tribute to Fallen 9/11 First Responders Draws Over 1,000 Participants 

By Dodie Manuel

A special tribute to the lives of first responders lost during the September 11, 2001, attacks was recently held on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The sixth annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb took place from 4 to 9 p.m. at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on September 10. 

The event was organized by the Salt River Fire Department, Salt River Fields, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and Plexus Worldwide, a health and wellness manufacturer. According to a SRPMIC press release about the event, the stair climb is a non-timed race to honor New York City fire, police and emergency medical services personnel. 

This year’s event drew a total of 1,061 individuals, who registered to accept the challenge of running up and down the stairs at Salt River Fields, which is the equivalent of the 110 stories of the Twin Towers. The event raised more than $100,000 for the NFFF and the East Valley Firefighters Fund to help provide financial assistance to fallen public safety workers. 

The stair climb memorializes the sacrifices made by first responders who gave their lives during the attacks on the World Trade Center. In total, 343 New York firefighters, 60 police officers and 10 EMS professionals perished in the attacks. According to the SRPMIC press release, “Each climber was issued a tag with the name and picture of one of the fallen to carry throughout the climb.” 

Some of the firefighters participating in the stair climb donned their full kit, including their breathing apparatus, and pushed up and down the bleachers in the 90-degree heat. Adding to the symbolic nature of the stair climb, participants took turns carrying over their shoulders a piece of debris from one of the towers. 

Firefighters from United Maricopa/Pinal County Firefighters, the Fort McDowell Fire Department, United Mesa Fire Fighters Association, Queen Creek Fire & Medical, Scottsdale Fire Department, City of Mesa and Salt River Fire Department all took part in the stair climb.