SEVERE WX : Excessive Heat Warning View Alerts
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Future firefighters honor the heroes of 9/11

September 11, 2001 made an impact on so many people and that includes the next generation of first responders. Even though some of them hadn't been born when it happened some high school students took time to honor the heroes that ran towards the Twin Towers.

Posted: Sep 12, 2018 9:13 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)— Angie Jones was a Maryville, Mo. firefighter on September 11, 2001.

"It was just pretty surreal to just sit there and watch it and know there was nothing you could do for anybody," Jones said. You want to help, but you can't."

She's now the Fire Science Instructor at Hillyard Technical Center in St. Joseph. Every year on the anniversary, she has her students honor the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on that fateful day by climbing up stairs as many times as they can.

"I think it's very important for them to understand what these firefighters went through that day just getting to the tower and looking up and seeing that and the factor of what are we going to do, how are we going to get up there," Jones said. "We know there are risks to this job. We accept that risk."

For her first-year students, it is quite the challenge.

"It taught me discipline because there's no way in the world that..55 feels terrible. 110. It's like a change. This is who we do it for," Student Cayden Carter said. 

Some of students weren't even born yet when 9/11 happened, but still had a special reason to do this.

"I just want to be like my father," Student Khiler Bless said. "Every time I see my dad go to calls, I feel like it's the most awesome way to be a firefighter, save people's lives and protect property."

The students weren't alone climbing steps Tuesday— they had each other. 

"These firefighters are like my family," Bless said. "They are being brave and never giving up. We're doing it as a team. We got to keep on going. We're not going to stop."

They may be a group of teenagers now, but one day these young men are going to be future heroes with a new found respect for their occupation.

"It's more about respect for all those firemen that didn't make it through that day," Student Cole McMillian said. "Just to remember those men and what they went through— we'll never know that pain they went through."

"It's pretty amazing because as much as the point they almost seem like they don't like me, they come back later and say how much that meant to them," Jones added. 

In the 10 years she's taught at Hillyard, many of Jones' students have continued the 9/11 stair climbing tradition by participating at other remembrance first responder ceremonies.

St. Joseph
79° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 76°
Feels Like: 82°
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 75°
Feels Like: 73°
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 75°
Feels Like: 82°
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 75°
Feels Like: 81°
Partly Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 75°
Feels Like: 78°
Humid and warm conditions are set to continue today. Today will not be quite as warm as yesterday, however temperatures will still warm into the lower 90s this afternoon with heat index values approaching triple digits. There are a few isolated showers and thunderstorms this morning, mainly east of I-35. That will be possible off and on today, however a better chance for showers and storms will return tonight into the overnight hours. A few storms could be on the strong to severe side overnight. Scattered showers and storms will continue off and on mainly through the morning and afternoon hours on Saturday. Temperatures will be much cooler on Saturday with highs in the mid 80s. Dry and sunny conditions will take over on Sunday and continue into next week as temperatures stay seasonal.
KQTV Radar
KQTV Temperatures
KQTV Alerts

Community Events