The Woodward News

Local News

September 11, 2013

Special event for firefighters

Woodward, Okla. — 110 flights of stairs.  55 pounds of gear.  9 Woodward firefighters.  And 1 call that changed everything.

This is a story of how a crew of firefighters from Northwest Oklahoma has come to forever carry the memory of the New York City firefighters who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.

TAKING ON THE CHALLENGE

Woodward firefighters first learned of the 2013 OKC 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb earlier this summer after receiving an e-mail from the OSU Fire Training Facility.

The e-mail said that the Stair Climb organizers were looking for 343 firefighters from across the state who would be willing to climb 110 flights of stairs in honor of the 343 New York City firefighters who died in the 9/11 terrorist attack.

The Oklahoma firefighters would carry the names of the fallen FDNY firefighters on name tags around their necks as they climbed the 110 stories, which represents the height of the Twin Towers that collapsed after being struck by jets during the attack.

The climb was held on Saturday, Sept. 7 at the First National Center in downtown Oklahoma City.

Upon learning of the memorial event, several Woodward firefighters were eager to participate.  They thought of it as a physical challenge.

"It became kind of a goal for us, at least for our shift," Firefighter Steven Rogers said.

The reason it became so important for him and his fellows on A Shift, Rogers said, was because of their lieutenant.

Lt. Steve Smith has been battling cancer for several years after being diagnosed with colon cancer in 2006 and liver cancer in 2009.  He continues to receive chemotherapy treatment and even rescheduled his last chemo treatment to take it a day early so he could participate in the OKC Stair Climb on Saturday.

Smith said he wanted to participate in the Stair Climb "to show that I could do it."

By taking on the 110-story climb and completing it, Smith said, "It just gave me the feeling I can accomplish what I set my mind to; that nothing can stop me, I just got to keep fighting."

To show support for their lieutenant the other members of A Shift, including Bobby McDowell, Cody Foster and Ryan Johannesmeyer as well as Rogers, also signed up to participate in the climb as well.

"Steve was definitely our inspiration," Rogers said.

They were soon joined by members from other shifts including David Conner, Darren Eckels, Jordan Ivie and Sterling Parks.

The 9 firefighters then spent weeks training for the climb.

Rogers said they would wear weighted vests or even wear their SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) packs as they trained to help prepare for the approximately 55 pounds of bunker gear they would be wearing during the climb.

"We wore out that old stair climber in our gym," McDowell said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Board hears updates

    Woodward School Board members honored a group of Woodward FFA students for their service to the community during the board's monthly meeting Monday night.

    April 16, 2014

  • Red Cross sets open house Thursday

    Northwest Chapter of the American Red Cross is holding an open house at its Woodward office, 1209 9th St.

    April 16, 2014

  • Commission hears communications presentation

    Woodward County Commissioners heard an informative report from Pioneer Telephone Special Projects and Engineering Manager JR Ools regarding new and emerging communications technologies being made available in the region.

    April 15, 2014

  • Extension Service important to state

    Recia Garcia remembers.
    She remembers how the lives of those she met through 4-H and through her work as a 30-year veteran with the OSU Extension Service changed her in ways she still sees today.

    April 15, 2014

  • Legislation targeting Okla. judiciary stirs debate

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — For the first time since a bribery scandal rocked Oklahoma's Supreme Court 50 years ago, state lawmakers are considering tinkering with the way Supreme Court justices and appellate court judges are selected.

    April 13, 2014

  • Filing period brings some area races

    There will be a few races on the June 24 primary ballot and the November general election ballot in Northwest Oklahoma counties.
    The three-day filing period ended on Friday.

    April 13, 2014

  • walkerweb.jpg Walker promoted to Captain

    Stan Walker's father Samuel Walker was an Oklahoma Highway Patrol Officer from 1942 to 1946 before taking on another career in energy where he spent the rest of his working days in Northwest Oklahoma.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Reports, hires on agenda

    Woodward Board of Education members will take up a number of routine items as well as hire some teachers for the early childhood center at their meeting on Monday.

    April 13, 2014

  • Area school calendars

    School calendars April 14-19

    April 13, 2014

  • Red Cross recognizes local volunteer

    When Karen Daily, Red Cross volunteer and owner of Western Medical & Drug, gets up in the morning, it is with the purpose and understanding that she may need to offer some of her time to her community.

    April 13, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks