Local fireman pay tribute

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 25, 2013

LAPLACE – St. John the Baptist Parish firefighters Mike Phillpott and Travis Etie recently paid tribute to the first responders who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by participating in a memorial stair climb at Chase Tower in Lafayette.
On the morning of Sept. 7, Phillpott and Etie completed an ascent of 110 stories, the same height of the World Trade Center, while carrying the biographies of deceased FDNY firefighters William Johnston and Lt. Vincent Halloran and wearing full protective equipment. They joined more than
300 other firefighters, police officers, EMS personnel and others to honor and remember the 343 FDNY members who lost their lives on Sept. 11.
“It was amazing to see firefighters from all around Louisiana coming together to memorialize our heroes from 9/11,” said Phillpott. “But what really stuck with me was the number of citizens, families and especially the small children that attended and participated. Seeing that gives me hope that the events of that day will not be soon forgotten.”
The event was hosted by the Lafayette Professional Firefighters Association to serve not only as a memorial but to promote fitness and stage a high-rise fire incident. An incident command system was in place during the event, which allowed firefighters and officers to practice high-rise firefighting operation skills. All proceeds from the event benefited the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
“Firefighters are a testament to public servants across the country,” said St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom. “Their commitment and dedication to the profession is appreciated.”