First Responders Foundation holds inaugural stair climb

Local4 News at 5
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 8:43 PM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The First Responders Foundation held its inaugural stair climb at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds Expo Building. Participants walked up and down bleachers twice to emulate the 109 flights of stairs first responders took during the terrorist attacks.

“In Central Nebraska we don’t have this kind of event locally,” said Meredith McDowell, Board Member, First Responders Foundation. “So we just thought that it would be a good event for this part of Nebraska to be able to honor those people that you know had that with 9/11.”

The First Responders Foundation started in January 2023, and fellow board member, Kaylee Harris said they’re here to first responders, veterans, and their families. Some first responders also came to show support and take part in the climb.

“We mainly wanted to do it because we work at Good Samaritan as flight nurses and on the ambulance,” said Mariah Curtis, flight nurse, at CHI Health Good Samaritan. “So we work with first responders between the officers and the firefighters pretty frequently in our job so we just wanted to be able to do something that kind of relates to them um that we have the ability to do.”

Curtis said participating in the stair climb shows how hard their work is, and she can’t believe they do that with 30 pounds of gear.

McDowell said the foundation provides a variety of services to veterans and first responders.

“We support them with mental health, financial health, physical health,” said McDowell. “We have a program with helping get service dogs connected through the Javelin program. So just definitely all different areas for our first responders and their families.”

Harris said the organization has helped with training for Kearney Fire and Police Department. Adding, they have also helped organize National Night Out Against Crime.