Sunderland firefighter climbs 110 flights of stairs to honour those who died on 9/11 while raising over £1,500 for charity
A Sunderland firefighter climbed 110 flights of stairs on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to raise almost £2,000 for The Firefighters Charity.
Chris Smith, a firefighter from Sunderland Central, underwent the task on Saturday, September 11 at the Performance Fitness Centre in Leechmere while wearing full safety equipment.
The 36-year-old from Ashbrooke wanted to honour the lives of the emergency services who went into the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, and lost their lives in the line of duty while trying to save others.
Chris said: “It was a pretty emotional day and it is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to physically do but I managed to get through it in just over 30 minutes.
"I have a huge amount of respect for those who went into the Twin Towers on that day while fires were burning and debris was falling but it genuinely blows my mind how they made it up all those floors.
"I was lucky enough to go on a school trip to New York back in 2000 so I remember standing in Battery Park looking up at the Twin Towers and thinking how impossibly big they were.
"So truly hats off to those who made it to the upper floors before they had even started working at the scene, it really puts into perspective just what they would have had to go through.”
In completing the climb, Chris has raised £1,801.13 including Gift Aid for The Firefighters Charity, who help to support the families of those working in the fire service should they be injured or killed in the line of duty.
Chris added: “I thought that my target of £500 would be a good amount but I’m over the moon to have raised as much as I have done.
"The charity is not one that I’ve used personally but I know about how much their work helps firefighters so it is really important to me.
"They are privately funded so donations like this enables them to keep going and I’m happy I’ve been able to raise a decent amount for them.”