Honoring the Fallen One Step and One Dollar at a Time
Capt. Bill Price uses creativity and tenacity to raise funds for the National Stair Climb for Fallen Firefighters
• Anyone can join the National Stair Climb for Fallen Firefighters presented by United Technologies, Saturday, October 10. Register at www.nationalstairclimb.org .
• $40 fee. Everyone receives a name badge of a firefighter who died in the line of duty and T-shirt.
• Check-in begins at 7:30 am at Citi Field. Opening ceremonies begin at 8:40 am.
•Can’t be in New York? Join in the virtual climb! Learn more at www.nationalstairclimb.org
•The proceeds benefit the FDNY Counseling Services Unit (CSU) and the National Fallen Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF).
$1 per step. For Bill Price, a firefighter and registrant for the upcoming National Stair Climb for Fallen Firefighters, that seemed like a fitting fundraising goal. Specifically, $2,200 — a dollar for every step FDNY firefighters faced as they prepared to ascend the stairs in the World Trade Center on 9/11.
As of August 31, Price had exceeded that fundraising goal, and was still going. “Every dollar gets me one more step closer,” he says.
Various organizations hold stair climbs as fitness challenges and to honor those killed on 9/11. But the National Stair Climb is the first to honor all fallen firefighters and to take place in New York City, with the support of the FDNY. The event, presented by United Technologies, will be held Saturday, October 10, at Citi Field, and is open to the public.
Originally from New York, Price now lives in Virginia, where he is the captain of the fire department at Naval Station Norfolk. But he still feels a strong connection to the city. When he was in the Navy, Price was stationed at Staten Island. “Guys from FDNY came for a tour of the ship,” Price remembers. Later, Price followed suit, touring an FDNY station. He eventually became very close to FDNY firefighter Al Weber, who responded on 9/11 and lost several friends in the disaster.
Price started doing stair climbs in 2014 and works out at his local YMCA two to three times a week in full turnout gear. He brings the same energy and discipline to his fundraising efforts, which include mowing lawns and washing cars for donations, teaching a donation-based CPR class at the Y, and auctioning off two of his old helmets on which he inscribed the names of the 343 FDNY firefighters killed on 9/11. Price’s wife is even selling homemade Christmas stockings made out of old turnout gear to support the effort.
Participants in the National Stair Climb will climb 110 flights and will receive a name badge honoring or in memory of the firefighter they’re climbing for, as well as an event t-shirt. Anyone who wants to participate but can’t be in New York can join the Virtual Climb. Registration is $40 at www.nationalstairclimb.org or $50 on site the day of the event. Proceeds benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the FDNY Counseling Services unit.
For Price, the fundraising effort is a key way to honor firefighters who have died in the line of duty. But doing the actual climb is just as important to him.
“Anyone can write a check,” he says. “A donation doesn’t mean as much unless you do something. As a firefighter it’s more fitting for me to try to do this myself and remember what those guys went through together.”
For more information: www.nationalstairclimb.org
About the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF)
The United States Congress created the NFFF to lead a nationwide effort to remember America's fallen firefighters. Since 1992, the non-profit foundation has developed and expanded programs to honor fallen fire heroes and assist their families and coworkers. The NFFF also works closely with the fire service to help prevent and reduce line-of- duty deaths and injuries. For more information on the Foundation and its programs contact us at 301-447-1365 or visit www.firehero.org.
The National Stair Climb for Fallen Firefighters is made possible through the generosity of the Presenting Sponsor, United Technologies, and Event Sponsors, Kidde Fire Safety, New York City Fire Department (FDNY), QALO, Motorola Solutions, Fire News, Scott Safety, PennWell and American Water Resources.