Event at Ricketts Park will raise funds for National Fallen Firefighters Foundation



FARMINGTON — The Farmington Fire Department hopes to bring the community together during an event designed to raise funds for a national firefighting foundation.

The Farmington Fire Department 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Ricketts Park will raise funds for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

The nonprofit organization's goal is to honor fallen firefighters and work toward reducing the number of deaths and injuries for firefighters.

Farmington firefighter Gary Groomer felt honored the department could recognize the first responders who died when two commercial airplanes crashed into two towers of the New York City’s World Trade Center complex on Sept. 11, 2011.

He was also excited to bring members of the community together to meet local first responders.

"It's been crazy to develop the idea and see it come together," Groomer said.

Groomer and fellow firefighter Phil Logan pursued the event after hearing about it at a national firefighters convention.

During the event, participants who registered will climb the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center building by walking up and down the grandstands at Ricketts Park.

Participants will start at the bottom of the first flight of stairs on the third-base side and walk up and down the stairs toward the first-base side, according to Groomer. There will be nine laps of the grandstands to simulate the 110 stories.


Some of the Farmington firefighters plan to participate in the climb in full firefighting gear, Logan said. A group of five firefighters from the Santa Fe Fire Department also is expected to attend.

There were 125 people registered for the event as of Wednesday afternoon.

Registration is capped at 343 people to represent the number of firefighters from the New York City Fire Department who died in the line of duty during the attack.

The initial fundraising goal was set at $5,000 and was increased to $10,000, which the event recently surpassed. The new goal is $15,000, which Groomer believes is a great amount for a new event.

The participants registered as teams and competed to raise the most money for the climb.

The team that raises the most money will start the climb at 8:46 a.m., when the first plane struck the north tower of the World Trade Center.

Donations will be accepted at the door from people who wish to attend the event but not participate in the climb.

An area will be set aside for children that will include several inflatable attractions, and members of the Piedra Vista High School cheer team are volunteering to help run it.

Vehicles from local law enforcement agencies will be on display for visitors to tour.

There will be two challenges for visitors to compete in and possibly earn a prize. Firefighters will host a "turn-out" challenge for people to try and put on a set of firefighter equipment the fastest.

Local military recruiters will host a physical contest, challenging people to complete the most push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups. Winners will receive a trophy and a one-month membership to Animas Crossfit.

Organizers will raffle off a prize package with assorted Yeti products, including a cooler and drinkware during the event.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.

If you go

What: The Farmington Fire Department 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb

When: Saturday, Sept. 9. Opening registration is at 7 a.m. The opening ceremony is at 8:10 a.m., and the climb starts at 8:46 a.m. 

Where: Ricketts Park, 1101 N. Fairgrounds Road in Farmington

Cost: Registration for the climb is $35. Free attendance for the event.

More Info: For more information, visit events.firehero.org/farmington.

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