FOUR Portsmouth firefighters are joining a commemoration of the September 11 attacks in America.
Fire officers Scott Hewson, Adam Cooper, James Crabb and Gary Wilders are flying to Atlanta, Georgia this week to take part in the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb.
The four-man crew from Southsea Fire Station are raising money for the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund by climbing 110 flights of stairs in full firefighting kit.
Adam, 46, said: ‘We are excited because we are going to America, but it’s also very poignant that we are firefighters over here and we can do something for the firefighters over there.’
Before taking on the challenge, the Southsea red watch has been invited by the memorial’s organisers to carry a steel beam from the World Trade Center in New York City – one of the sites of the 9/11 attacks – during the ceremony.
Adam says that the crew are deeply privileged to be thought of as such an integral part of the memorial.
He said: ‘It’s a great honour because we are the only team from abroad that is taking part in the stair climb.’
The red watch’s effort will honour the memory of the 343 firefighters killed in the terrorist attacks co-ordinated in the United States 15 years ago.
As if the stair climb wasn’t strenuous enough for the 650 firefighters and civilians participating, Southsea’s red watch will be battling intense temperatures dressed in their boots, leggings and helmets.
Adam said: ‘The hardest bit will probably be coping with the heat and actually keeping the momentum to keep going for 110 flights.
‘We’ve been training a lot at the station when we’re on duty and finding lots of stairs to climb to get us used to it.
‘The red watch are a good team and we work well together.’
Having already smashed their initial target of £500 in one week, the red watch has already raised nearly £1,400 for the fund founded in memory of Terry Farrell – a fire officer who died in the attacks.
To donate, go to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/adam-cooper-2