When Robin Malone saw him climbing step after step at Rhodes Fitness Monday, she knew she had to tell someone.
One by one, Gulfport firefighter Collin Stuart climbed stairs on the exercise machine until he reached the equivalent of 110 floors — and he wore his firefighter uniform for the entire duration.
Stuart, who has been with the Gulfport Fire Department a little more than a year, said he did it to remember the firefighters who died on Sept. 11, 2001.
“As a firefighter, you want to do what the men and women had to do that day,” Stuart said. “They didn’t choose to do that. They had to do it because it was their job.”
Stuart, 27, wore his jacket, pants, boots, helmet and air tank while climbing. He said it weighs anywhere from 70 to 75 pounds.
He climbed 110 floors because that’s how many floors were in the World Trade Center at the time of the 2001 terrorist attacks. He finished in about 38 minutes.
Stuart said it was very sweaty and hot, but he felt humble after completing the task.
“I got to go home after that,” he said. “Those firefighters didn’t. They had to do it and then fight fire afterward. Think about having to climb those stairs with tools and hoes and then have fight fire, already exhausted. I have nothing to complain about.
Malone and her mother were working out at the gym when Stuart was climbing the stairs.
Malone said she tried to help Stuart carry his equipment to his vehicle after he was finished, but he insisted on carrying it himself.
“That takes a special kind of heart,” she said.