Paying Tribute

Two Ohio State Police Officers recently paid tribute to the brave first responders who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001. Thousands of people were killed in the World Trade Center and the surrounding area. The attack marks the deadliest terrorist attack in world history.

Justin Estill and Marcia Dodrill, Public Safety Officers on the CFAES Wooster Campus participated in 9/11 memorial events last month. Officer Estill took part in a stair climb at the Holmes County Courthouse on September 11th.

Firefighters, police and anyone who wanted to participate started the trek at 8:46 am, when the first plane flew into the first of the two Twin Towers in New York in 2001.

They walked 55 flights of stairs on the courthouse steps, which represents the number of steps first responders would have taken to get to the top of the Twin Towers. Participants also stopped for a moment of silence during the event.

“I was honored to pay tribute to the firefighters and police that were killed in the line of duty,” said Officer Estill. “Often, you hear the phrase, ‘Never forget’ and I think this is one way for everyone to remember the sacrifices they made.”

Physical fitness also plays an important role Officer Estill’s life. In 2012, he started working out and now runs and lifts weights. He also eats healthy foods and has lost 100 pounds.

“Over time, I made it a lifestyle,” Officer Estill said. “I’ve seen some pretty significant results from hard work, commitment and dedication.”

The next day, Officer Dodrill participated in a 5K Run and Walk in Medina, hosted by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. She is also a firefighter/paramedic for the City of Rittman. She was the first female firefighter/paramedic in full turnout gear to cross the finish line in Public Square. 

Participants ran 3.1 miles and the event was open to the public to run, walk or watch.

Officer Dodrill was the top individual fundraiser for the event and her physical fitness has been a priority for the past two years.

The Tunnel to Towers Run and Walk was formed to honor the life of Stephen Siller, a New York City firefighter who died on September 11th running through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers.

“During the event I was one of many individuals who wore the name and photograph of a first responder who died in the Twin Towers,” Officer Dodrill said. “It was humbling to honor our fallen brothers and sisters and a reminder of their sacrifice.”

The Wooster Campus created its own annual fitness assessment in 2013. Sergeant Chad Stanton says they intentionally made their assessment challenging and it serves as a wakeup call for many of their staff when it comes to their fitness levels. 

While funding for the assessment stopped in 2018, Wooster has decided to self-fund this effort due to the positive changes they’ve seen from their personnel. 

“We take our fitness as a source of personal pride,” said Sergeant Stanton. “We will continue to participate in similar events to demonstrate this to our community.”