Tyler MacDonell admitted the climb was more difficult this year.
Unlike at last year’s Climb for a Calling — an event to honor first responders and veterans — MacDonell wore a firefighter’s bunker jacket Sunday morning to climb 110 stories at Burnett Plaza.
She was there to show support for her husband, University Park firefighter Stewart MacDonell, and other first responders.
“That jacket was heavy,” MacDonell said after finishing the climb. “The heat was something else in there. The 30th floor was the toughest for me.”
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About 300 civilians, police officers and firefighters — some in full bunker gear weighing more than 40 pounds — climbed the stairs Sunday in the third annual event in Fort Worth.
Proceeds went to the Fort Worth Firefighters Charities, The Krodle Memorial Foundation, Stay the Course and Recovery Resource Council.
The nationwide event honors the 343 New York firefighters killed Sept. 11, 2001, and the climb is the equivalent of the 110 stories of the Word Trade Center.
A metal piece of the World Trade Center Twin Towers was on display at the Fort Worth event, which was hosted by The Block Foundation.
The climb at Burnett Plaza was a test of stamina: Climb 40 stories and go back down, climb another 40 stories and go down to the 10th floor and climb back to the 40th floor. That’s 110 stories of sweat, sweat and sweat.
For Euless Fire Chief Wes Rhodes, the event was even more special as he climbed with his son Grapevine firefighter Aaron Rhodes.
Wes Rhodes, a 31-year Fire Department veteran, wore full bunker gear for the stairs, admitting it was a little difficult.
“Last year, we didn’t get a chance to climb this,” the fire chief said referring to his son being at the event. “This year, we both had off, and I saw it as a great way for more father-son bonding.”