The annual Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb took place at the Riverwood 100 Building near Cumberland Mall. An estimated 200 participants climbed the 22-story building five times to equal the 110 stories first responders climbed on Sept. 11.
The event was conducted in memory of Terry Farrell, a member of the New York City Fire Department’s Rescue 4 and chief of the Dix Hills Volunteer Fire Department. Farrell, along with 342 other firefighters, died during the attack on the World Trade Center 11 years ago.
“He was with Rescue 4 out of Queens the day of the event,” said Brian Farrell, Terry’s brother and chairman of the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund. “All of the rescue units were lost.”
Twelve chapters of the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund have been established in New York, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas to benefit firefighters and their families.
Climbers paid a $25 fee to participate in groups in the stair climb.
The money raised from Sunday’s event and after party at Wild Wings Café in Marietta will go toward helping sick or injured Georgia firefighters. Since the Georgia chapter’s establishment in February 2011, $5,000 has been donated to firefighters in the state, said chapter director Mike Korsch.
“Everybody here has different reasons why they do it,” Korsch said. “Some people knew of individuals that died that day and some people came out just because of what the day means to them.”
Carlisle Fire Company firefighters Ryan Knowles, 43, and Harry Makhtany, 26, said they traveled from Delaware to the event to keep the memories of their fallen brethren alive.
“It doesn’t seem like much but once you get to the third floor you’re already starting to realize this is going to take a while,” Makhtany said of the climb.
Brian Farrell, a firefighter veteran, said that carrying out his duties as a fireman wasn’t the only time his late brother worked to save lives.
“Terry was the first fireman in the city of New York to ever successfully donate bone marrow; saved a little girl out in Las Vegas,” he said.
Brian Farrell said that not a day goes by that he doesn’t think about the events of Sept. 11.
“9/11 is important but I’d rather be with the chapters on 9/11. These guys didn’t know Terry but yet they turn out for this kind of event. It’s because we’re helping firemen.”
More information about the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund is available online at www.terryfundga.org.