Warren County High School student-athletes participated in a 9/11 Awareness event Monday to commemorate the tragic events of the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
With the names and photos of fallen New York firefighters, approximately 140 Warren County High School student-athletes divided and conquered the staircases of Warren County High School.
“This was an awesome day and all those who participated are to be commended for their efforts,” said Warren High School athletic director Todd Willmore.
Their goal was to symbolically climb the flights of stairs firefighters were unable to complete that day. Numerous student-athletes climbed every flight for their fallen heroes, while some divided themselves into teams and climbed as smaller groups until the total number of stairs was reached.
The idea began when Brent Whitlock, Warren County High School teacher and assistant baseball coach, was researching the events of Sept. 11, 2001 seeking not only to help students understand the significance of the event, but also looking for a unique way to condition the baseball team. The concept took off when, after a few conversations with other coaches, multiple teams decided to participate.
In addition to the baseball team, cross country, boys and girls basketball, girls soccer, and volleyball participated.
The school contacted our local fire department and spoke with Capt. Jamie Brown, who had several firefighters on site when the event took place.
“It was an excellent opportunity for the students to see what we use in this type of situation,” Brown said.
Firefighters can sometimes use a specially designed elevator during a fire as long as the “red hat” indicator is not on. If the alarm has been triggered, it means the elevator has moved and parked on a “safe” floor meaning the firefighters have no choice but climb the stairs. Carrying heavy equipment plus their normal gear it is daunting. “We have 30-60 pounds of gear we carry,” Brown said.
The hopes are to build upon this event next year with greater participation. Each student-athlete was asked to donate whatever amount of money they had available. The students raised almost $500 and plan to donate the proceeds to local firefighters.
“We appreciate the event they put on,” said McMinnville Fire Chief Kendall Mayfield. “We really enjoyed doing that.”