Sherman firemen share their Dallas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb experience, in honor of the fallen firefighters

SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) -- After a summer of preparation, two Sherman firemen walked in the shoes of the firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11.

Almost 600 people including firefighters, police and EMS climbed 110 flights of stairs at the Renaissance Tower in Dallas in their honor.

"The 343 brothers is a weight that we all feel," Sherman Fire Division Chief Dan Wood said.

Wood has 35 years on the job.

In 2001, he was working in Addison and was the one to call all his guys in when the first plane hit.

"And so all the crew came in and stood there as the second plane hit," Wood said.

He joined Sherman Captain Kes Gilhome in the Dallas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb.

"So you start in the basement. And you go to the 54th floor, you ride the freight elevator down and then you go back up," Wood said.

110 flights, full bunker gear, plus an air pack- 50 to 60 pounds.

"It was sobering to realize how safe we were...and how profoundly unsafe our brothers were that day," he said.

He climbed for New York City Fire Department Battalion Chief Charles Kasper of the special operations crew.

Kasper wasn't on duty that day.

"That morning asked his wife to call their daughter and tell them that he has to go put this fire out but then he'll be at school to pick up his grandson," Wood said.

He never made it back home. He was 54 years old, about the same age Wood is now.

Wood climbed for his father too, also a firefighter, who died fighting a grass fire in Colorado.

"He was willing to sacrifice it all. In truth, all of us are willing. But very few of us will have to," he said.

He'll be back every year as long as he's able.

"To be a part of that kind of history of selflessness and service. Man, that's pretty much as good as it gets," Wood said.