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INDIANAPOLIS–About 34,000 firefighters from nearly 65 countries will gather for FDIC International, one of the biggest conventions in downtown Indianapolis. 

It will be April 8-13 at Lucas Oil Stadium. A big part of that convention will be honoring the 343 members of the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) who died trying to save others on September 11, 2001. 

The National Fallen Firefighters Founation (NFFF) will be at Lucas Oil for the 2019 FDIC 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb Friday April 12. People who participate will climb the stairs until they reach 110 stories, representing the number of floors in the Twin Towers. 

“There’s a number of cancers that those firefighters and other rescue workers are susceptible to. We’ve been adding about 20-25 FDNY firefighters to the National Memorial who have died as a result of the 9/11 cancers over the last several years,” said Victor Stagnaro, Managing Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Association. Stagnaro was a guest on The First Day with Terri Stacy on 93.1 WIBC. 

The registration fee for that is $35. Everyone will get a photo ID of one of the firefighters who died September 11th. 

 “The 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb is an opportunity for anyone in the community to demonstrate respect and admiration for these courageous men who gave their lives trying to save others. It’s also a way to show their loved ones that we will never forget them,” said National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Executive Director Ron Siarnicki. “We want to be sure that each of those firefighters is represented by someone climbing the stairs at the Lucas Oil Stadium.” 

Bobby Halton is the Educational Director of FDIC International. He also spoke on The First Day. He says the firefighters who remain alive from that day battle many issues. 

“There are an untold number of responders dealing with issues related to lung disease, emphysema, all kinds of respiratory issues, as well as autoimmune diseases. We’re seeing some mental health issues too. A lot of that, given the selfless nature of these folks, goes unreported,” Halton said. 

They won’t just honor those 9/11 firefighters on April 12. 

“We’re doing a fun run on the night of Thursday, April 11th at White River State Park,” Halton said. The 12th annual FDIC International Courage and Valor Fun Run be just a short walk from the Indianapolis Convention Center. You can register for that here.

All of the proceeds from the stair climb will benefit the FDNY Counseling Services Unit and the programs provided by the NFFF to help the families of those related to firefighters who have died. 


Audio titled FIRST DAY 3-31-19 FIREFIGHTER SEGMENT 3 by 93WIBC

(PHOTO: FDIC International)