FDIC: In a Flash

NFFF’s Stop, Drop, Rock ‘n’ Roll

On Thursday night, the National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation hosted their annual Stop, Drop, Rock ‘n’ Roll. The event was held to raise money for the Foundation, and always draws a great crowd. The food was tasty, the entertainment was great, and the auction was a success. Various items were auctioned off to the highest bidder and a silent auction was also held.

Country artist Darryl Worley has teamed up with Help The Good Guys and BLEVE Entertainment to raise money for the NFFF. Darryl even stayed after the show to meet everyone and sign autographs. I spoke with Darryl after the show and thanked him for his efforts to “help the good guys.”

9/11 Memorial Stair Climb

On Friday morning, we gathered in the Lucas Oil Stadium for the National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation’s 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. The event was so much bigger than last year, and that was a great accomplishment! Every climber that climbed the 110 stories for our fallen brothers made a donation to the NFFF, and nearly 450 individuals climbed.

The climbers were firefighters, friends of firefighters, supporters of firefighters, family of firefighters, and were all climbing for the same purpose: To REMEMBER

It wasn’t about my fellow climbers….it was about the 343. If you attended FDIC and did not climb for our brothers, you should have.

I will post about my personal experience with the climb later. This was my first climb since personally meeting Kara Coakley Walker, the sister of Steven Coakley (FDNY ENGINE 217). I carried his name to the top during this climb.

I can tell you that this climb was tougher than any of the previous climbs, and it may very well have been due to the personal connection I have now made with the Coakley family. You cannot sleep in the house, see his uniforms hanging in the coat closet, and speak with his family without it changing your life. It’s not reading the names in a book or seeing a broadcast on TV…it is so much more than that. You can read about my Hurricane Sandy trip by clicking here.

Several brothers that I climbed with have wrote about their climbing experience, and you can click the links below:
The Fire Critic writes about the climb here.
First Due Tackle’s account of the climb is here.

Fire Critic/ Iron Firemen/ NFE Meet-Up

The Hard Rock Café was the place to be on Friday night during FDIC! I helped organize an event at the Hard Rock- Indy, and it was EPIC! We threw the event together in just about two weeks, and the Hard Rock Café- Indy really stepped up for us! If you were there, stop by their Facebook page and let them know how good of a time you had!

There were many familiar faces in the crowd throughout the night. To name a few, I saw Dave Statter (Statter911.com), Lori Mercer (FirefighterWife.com), Rob Schield (FIRECAM), Phenix Fire Helmets, Mike Bish (10seventyfive.com), Brian Brush(Fire Service Warrior), Chris Naum (CompanyOfficer.com), Shane Parkins (National Firefighters Endowment), Andrew and Mary Arnold (Box Alarm Leather), Sons of the Flag Burn Foundation, and even some boys showed up from my neck of the woods (Tim Estes, Steven Burke, Mike White).

I had the pleasure of meeting everyone listed above, and it was truly an honor. I had communicated with many of them one way or another through email/phone, but it was the first time meeting them. One other person I’d like to tell you about meeting is Rob Wiedmann (FDNY R2). Rob was burned in a house fire last year, and I had donated to the Rescue 2 fund to assist with the two brothers and their families. It was really great to finally meet him, as I had followed along with his progress online. He was there with the crew from the Sons of the Flag, a non-profit that is working to advance burn research among other things. You can view their site by clicking here.

FDIC Exhibits

We finished up the final day on the floor by touching base once again with several friends that I had made throughout the week. I will be featuring several new companies on the site, so stay tuned for those.

That’s a wrap for now. We had a long day on the road yesterday, so stay tuned for a write-up on the climb.