The 2020 National First Responders Fund San Francisco Stair Climb is going VIRTUAL!

As an organization, our highest priority is the health and safety of our participants, staff, volunteers and spectators. We have been closely following the updates and guidelines provided by our local, county and state in response to the Covid-19 epidemic. At this time the City of San Francisco is not allowing gatherings of this size.

To make it safe for everyone, we are going VIRTUAL  for the 2020 climb!

Thank you for your support at this amazing event. In years past we have raised a record amount of funds from more than two thousand donations. 


Just because we can’t meet and climb in person doesn’t mean we can’t raise funds for First Responders. The need is possibly more urgent in this uncertain time, and we thank you for your fundraising efforts. Funds raised during our virtual climb will go directly toward supporting First Responders with PTSI! 

REGISTRATION OPENS MONDAY JULY 20, 2020. Sign up below for  updates!

Where: Anywhere! Your town, your staircase, your choice

When:  September 11 to October 11, 2020

What: A virtual Stair Climb to be done at a location of your choosing. You will have from Friday September 11 to Sunday October 11 to complete the climb challenge at your own pace. More details to come when registration opens July 20.

Video Credits: Yuanhao Du, Wendi Sun, Nemy Lin, Ruijing "Bridget" Ling.


The San Francisco First Responders Stair Climb was started to raise awareness and bring support to first responders who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Injuries (PTSI).  We hold this event each year around the time of 9/11 in remembrance of those that gave their lives and those firefighters, police, EMS and dispatchers whose lives are forever affected by exposure to traumatic events. The money raised is used for the administration of the fund and the payment for first responders to attend PTSD programs. We climb to save the lives of those that save ours.

On a daily basis, Firefighters and Paramedics witness numerous tragic incidents while on duty. This recurrent, cumulative exposure to horrific events is the reason that the Journal of Occupational Health estimates that approximately 20% of Firefighters and Paramedics suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), while the general population experiences PTSD at a rate of 3.5%. Treatment options are available, but many are not covered by health insurance, and must be paid for out of pocket. Oftentimes, these costs are prohibitive for the rescuer in need of help.

This is why we climb...

We climb because of the demands of their profession, firefighters and first responders succumb to numerous mental health issues, including PTSD, substance abuse, and suicide, at alarming rates.

What is a first responder?
A person who is among those responsible for going immediately to the scene of an accident or emergency to provide assistance, including police, fire and dispatchers.

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
A mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event, either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. (Mayo Clinic)

How does this affect our firefighters?
Firefighters have significantly higher rates of PTSD than the average person. The rate for PTSD in firefighters is over 22% with the strongest predictor being number of years of service. The more time on the job, the more likely it is that firefighters experience PTSD.

What are firefighter rates of alcohol addiction?
One of the most common symptom of PTSD is alcohol addiction. Almost 30% of firefighters experience problematic alcohol use. (Boxer and Wild, 1993) Cincinnati's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health conducted a survey in 1993 where it reported an estimate that up to 29% of firefighters have had problems with alcohol use and/or abuse. (Clinical Psychology Associates, 2013)

What is the rate of suicide among firefighters?
Sadly, without help Firefighters are at a greater risk of contemplating suicide. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with and estimated 13 people per 100,000 dying by suicide annually. A study published in July 2016 by the Centers for Disease Control looked at suicide in 17 states and found that rates of suicide among emergency services personnel (which includes both firefighters and police) was 34.1 per 100,000, more than double the national average among the general population (, 8-15-16) A Florida State University Study has shown that nearly half of firefighters have contemplated suicide and approximately 15.5% have actually attempted suicide.

This is why we climb.

All donations are paid to the National First Responder's Fund (NFRF). The National First Responder's Fund (NFRF) is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions to the NFRF are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. The NFRF's tax identification number is 82-3266569.

We would be nothing without our 2019 supporters and sponsors!  Check back for our 2020 sponsors.

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