“Fred Scheffold”

555 Fitness Hero WOD

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  • For Time
  • 5 Squat Cleans (135/95 lb)
  • 50 Double-Unders
  • 4 Squat Cleans (165/105 lb)
  • 40 Double-Unders
  • 3 Squat Cleans (185/125 lb)
  • 30 Double-Unders
  • 2 Squat Cleans (205/135 lb)
  • 20 Double-Unders
  • 1 Squat Clean (225/155 lb)
  • 10 Double-Unders

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namesake photo
This Firefighter Hero WOD is dedicated to Fred Scheffold, FDNY, Battalion 12, who was killed on September 11, 2001.

Fred Scheffold was at the end of his 24-hour shift at the New York City Fire Department's 12th Battalion in Harlem and Joseph Marchbanks was just beginning his, there to replace Scheffold, when the call came for help. The two men, both battalion chiefs, share more than job titles. Both live in Rockland. Both are dedicated husbands and fathers. Both are funny and fearless. And both are still missing.

A week ago today, Scheffold, 57, and Marchbanks, 47, were directing others to safety in the lobby of Tower 2 of the World Trade Center just before it disintegrated. Scheffold was planning to go to the 90th floor, his family said, but began directing his men out of the building when it began to buckle. Scheffold and Marchbanks haven't been heard from since. Their families haven't given up hope, believing intelligence and instinct have kept the men alive.

On Sunday, Laura McElhennon, Marchbanks' sister-in-law, visited Scheffold's wife, Joan, and three daughters at their Piermont home, the same home they have lived in since moving to Rockland 25 years ago. "We wanted to see them," said McElhennon, who, like the Marchbanks, lives in Nanuet. "They're in the same boat as we are, so we understand, and we're there to support them. There's always hope, and we're holding on to that."

It is a pain only the loved ones of the missing understand. Their televisions are on, but the sound is kept low until they see a news conference, hoping, praying for some new information. To date, there has been little good news and too much misinformation. "The hardest part is just not knowing and waiting," said McElhennon, speaking on behalf of her sister, and Marchbanks' wife, Teresa. "The kids are sad, and they miss their dad. They're just waiting for him to come home."

New York City firefighters visit the families every day, offering comfort, sharing stories. "They all keep reminding us how great and wonderful he was as a chief," said Kim Scheffold Stiefel, Scheffold's eldest daughter. "He really was amazing to work for because he never forgot he was a firefighter first."

Both families have stayed positive through the past week by talking about the men they admire. Marchbanks, they said, is a huge Jets fan who has season tickets and never misses a game. He is a prankster, yet also a caring father who coached his 14-year-old daughter's softball team and attended all of his 8-year-old son's baseball and soccer games.

The Scheffold daughters tell of the time when the family went to an amusement park in New Jersey. They were standing in line for the roller coaster ride when a man suffered a heart attack. As people started calling for a doctor, Scheffold bolted to the man's side and began administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation. "Those were the kinds of things he did," Stiefel said. "He would do anything for anybody. He was a true firefighter."

Karen Scheffold Onorio, Scheffold's second daughter, said she holds on to one enduring image of her father. It is of a poster that he kept, one that he showed to friends and family and that never failed to give him a chuckle. In the humorous illustration, a frog fights valiantly against a bird, which is trying to swallow it, by wringing the fowl's neck. The caption underneath says, "Don't ever give up." "That," she said, "is my dad."
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