Woodward, Okla. —
FALLEN FIREFIGHTER'S SISTER PUTS IT ALL IN PERSPECTIVE
Throughout those weeks of training, the firefighters continued to focus on the physical challenge of the climb.
But then on the morning of the climb itself, a single phone call shifted that focus.
Foster said he learned that a woman named Kathi Talbott was trying to contact him and that Talbott is the sister of the late Peter Brennan, who was the firefighter he was climbing in memory of.
"I guess she called up to the station and talked to somebody because she was wanting my phone number to talk to me. They wouldn't give out my number but instead gave me her information. So I called her as we were leaving the city that morning to head down for the climb," Foster said.
Foster and Talbott then spoke on the phone for over 30 minutes.
"I talked with her from the time we left Woodward to the other side of Seiling," Foster said. "She was telling me everything about him, about his career as a firefighter and about his children. She said his wife had been pregnant with a boy when he died and his son was born 2 months after. She told me about how their other brother had also been a firefighter for FDNY. She told me about the day their family found out he was dead and how they never found his body."
Foster then shared everything Talbott had told him with his fellow Woodward firefighters.
He said hearing Brennan's story from his sister "was really touching and made it a whole different experience."
The other firefighters agreed.
"It gave the whole climb a new perspective," Johannesmeyer said, noting "It made it a lot more personal for everybody."
"At first it was about the challenge, but then after the phone call and after we got down there, it was about the people we were climbing for," Rogers said.