Calera first responders honor those lost on 9/11

Published 4:05 pm Wednesday, September 13, 2023

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

CALERA – Representatives from the police and fire department in Calera took part in a memorial stair climb on Monday, Sept. 11.

The stair climb, hosted by Workout Anytime Fitness, was meant to honor the lives that were lost during the 9/11 attacks. Members of both the Calera Police Department and the Calera Fire Department organized into mixed teams and performed in rounds of climbing totaling 2,071 steps each.

“Deputy Fire Chief Shane Stoudenmire had the idea for us to do mixed teams of police and fire, because during 9/11, they all worked together to try and save lives and many of them died together,” said David Hyche, Calera’s chief of police. “We thought it would be appropriate to have mixed teams (to represent that).”

The two teams participated in a total of two climbing rounds and ultimately tied with one another.

“We did the first round with gear,” Hyche said. “The police officers had their bulletproof vests with metal plates on, which are about 35 pounds, while the firefighters wore their turnout gear. (This was for) the first-round of 2,071 steps. Then we did a second round without the gear on.”

The number of steps climbed in each round was meant to equal the number that police and firefighters climbed as they ascended the 110 floors of the Twin Towers during the attacks that occurred 22 years ago.

Although the participants enjoyed taking part in the event, there was an overcast of somberness and remembrance as they honored the lives that were cut short.

“We want people to remember 9/11,” Hyche said. “A lot of kids nowadays weren’t born then and don’t know anything about it. We encourage people to share what those Americans did that day on the flight in Pennsylvania, at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. Pretty much everybody that participated (in the stair climb)—while they were doing the steps—were thinking and reflecting on those people who knowingly went to their death and gave their lives to save other people.”

According to Hyche, donations that were collected at the event by the Calera Police Department and portions of the funds raised by Workout Anytime Fitness are being donated to help fund the Special Olympics.