St. Bernard Firefighters participated in the 2nd annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at the Poydras Plaza in New Orleans. Prior to the climb, were the presentation of the flag by New Orleans Police Department (NOPD’s) color guard and a parade of bagpipes by the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD). The climb is held in cities across the United States to honor the police, EMS, and 343 firefighters that were killed in the World Trade Center attacks. The climb consists of 110 floors which is how tall the world Trade towers were. Participants were given a lanyard with a picture of a FDNY member who perished in their rescue attempt. The St. Bernard Firefighters had to wear all protective bunker gear in addition to their SCBAS which are the tanks on their backs. This event is a way to pay tribute to those who gave their lives in trying to save thousands of civilians. “For me, it is in my 28 years as a firefighter the best event I have had attended and participated in,” said District Chief Mike Dragon. There was a brotherhood of firemen from all over the state and even a group from New Zealand.
St. Bernard’s finest being able to climb together is an experience they will never forget. St. Bernard Parish is truly lucky to have so many dedicated and professional firefighters serving them. Participating firemen were: District Chief Eddie Estopinal, District Chief Mike Dragon, Captain Louis Michel, Captain Todd Michel, Captain Sal Santalucito, Captain Richard Steele, Engineer Mitchell Chevalier, Engineer Justin Sagar, Engineer James Terluin, Engineer Howard Beal, Engineer Desi Romano, Engineer Joshua Wolfe, Engineer Tommy Dorcey, Engineer Rebecca Stechmann, Engineer Nick Domino, Engineer Taylor Blanchard, Firefighter Nick Nunez, and Firefighter Ryan Abadie.