A PAIR of Droitwich firefighters are gearing up to follow in the footsteps of a hero.

Simon Beard, aged 26, and Gareth Taylor, 35, both from Droitwich, are taking part in the annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers run in New York on Sunday, September 29 to raise money for the Fire Fighters Charity.

The day is a chance for firefighters from around the world to celebrate the lives of those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the famous Twin Towers, 12 years ago.

Among them was 34-year-old Stephen Siller who raced to his fire house, threw on heavy equipment and drove to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel which he ran through on foot to get to the Twin Towers in order to help.

Mr Beard, who has been a firefighter for nearly five years, said they would be running the 5K race in their full fire kit, and if they can get permission, their 18kg bre-athing apparatus.

“We’re going to do some training in our kits because it’s so much different and quite heavy,” he said.

“Since I joined I’ve had quite a bit to do with the Fire Fighters Charity. It’s a great charity that helps the be-reaved families and the in-jured firefighters and burn victims as well.”

The pair, who are self-funding their trip across the pond to New York, are hoping to raise £2,600 and are looking for sponsorship from local businesses and residents.

They are planning to hold a number of fundraising events ahead of the run including a car wash at Droitwich Fire Station on Saturday from 10am to 2pm. Any funds raised will be doubled by Barclays Bank. To make a donation visit justgiving.com /911tunnel2towers. If you have a business and would like to sponsor them e-mail sbeard@hwfire.org.uk