'A boot-load of blisters:' Trumbull firefighters run in Tunnel to Towers Race

On Sunday, Sept. 29, four members of Trumbull’s Long Hill Fire Department, two members of the Trumbull Center Fire Department and three members of the Nichols Fire Department joined over 25,000 people running the 12th annual Tunnel to Towers Race in New York City.

The run commemorates FDNY firefighter Stephen Siller, who was off duty on 9/11, ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to ground zero wearing all of his bunker gear, located his crew and, unfortunately, perished with 342 of his fellow firefighters when the towers fell.

The nine members of the combined Trumbull Fire Departments also ran in full bunker gear to honor Stephen’s heroism. Seven of the nine fire fighters who attended are students at Trumbull High School and were between the ages of 4 to 6 during the events of 9/11/2001. This group included LHFD fire fighters Matthew Rowan, Stephen Green, and John Macauda; TCFD fire fighters Charlie Riczu and Zack Kaesman; and NFD fire fighters Andrew Marino and Austin Morano.

The two senior firefighters who accompanied the younger firefighters were Matt Iseppi from Nichols and Trumbull High School English teacher and Long Hill Firefighter Jim McCaffrey.

Each member completed the 3.1 mile course wearing at least 45 pounds of gear, which included boots, pants, jacket and helmet. With the exception of a boot-load of blisters, all those attending had a great time and hope to return to the event next year.

LHFD member McCaffrey finished first of the nearly 1,000 fire fighters running in the event wearing full bunker gear and did so in 24:19, averaging a 7:49 per mile pace.

This powerful event raises money for the Stephen Siller foundation which helps veterans who have been seriously wounded in combat.