JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — This weekend, a fireman from the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department will make a significant ascent.
Nick Billups, a resident of Jacksonville, will climb 110 floors in full fireman gear on September 11 to commemorate the men and women who killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks 21 years ago.
Billups was formerly a personal trainer and martial arts teacher at the YMCA. Despite his athletic background, he claims to have trained for the climb for weeks.
“I want to make sure I do my very best and not stop,” he says. “I may slow down a little bit, but my goal is not to stop.”
During his ascent to the top, he will carry about 80 pounds of additional weight.
He adds he does this annually to remember the courageous first responders who made the climb on September 11th.
“You want to stop, you want to press that stop button to catch your breath, but you gotta understand that during that time, when 9/11 happened, these men and women did not have that option,” he says.
Billups has been a JFRD fireman for three years and said he has always desired to assist others.
“The whole adage is ‘when others are walking out, we’re walking in’ so when I’m on that stair climber I’m gonna do my best to not stop because the brave men and women that gave their lives had no option of stopping,” he says.
On Sunday at around 10 a.m., he will begin his climb on a stair climber at the Williams YMCA.