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“Michael Kiefer”


555 Fitness Hero WOD

14.5K 611
  • EMOM for 20 minutes
  • Odd Minutes:
  • 5 Bench Presses (65% of 1RM)
  • Even Minutes:
  • 8 Hand Release Push-Ups

For the bench presses, use the weight that is 65% of your 1-rep-max.

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namesake photo

This Firefighter Hero WOD from 555 Fitness is dedicated to Michael Kiefer, FDNY, Ladder 132, who was killed on September 11, 2001 during the terrorist attacks on the twin towers in New York City.

Michael Vernon Kiefer, 25, of Franklin Square was a member of Ladder 132 in the New York City fire department. He was last seen at the Marriott Hotel heading for the south tower.

A firefighter came to his Franklin Square home in the early hours of Sept. 12 to tell him his son was gone, and in that moment Bud Kiefer knew everything had changed forever. “He looked me in the eye and said, ‘I’m sorry.’ At that instant your life turns around 180 degrees,” he said.

From age 3, when Michael Kiefer loved to dress up as a fireman, all the way through school, when he drew “FDNY” on all his school books, he wanted nothing more than to be a city firefighter. His father said he sometimes worried what his son would do if he didn’t make it. But he aced both the physical and written tests and joined in 2000.

That was after years of volunteering for a series of fire departments – Franklin Square, Malverne, Freeport and Hempstead – where he was always looking for more action.

Outside of the firehouse, he kept himself fit, working as a Long Beach lifeguard on the side. Three days before his death he had completed a triathlon.

Deeply religious, Kiefer regularly attended Mass with his mother, Patricia, and served as a eucharistic minister. But firefighting came first. A priest once asked him if he had considered going into the priesthood. His answer: “You save the souls and I’ll save the bodies.”

The oldest of three children, Kiefer was a role model to his two sisters, Lauren and Kerri, 21 and 19 when he died. “His phrase was, ‘Do the right thing,’ ” his father said.

Bud Kiefer said he and his son shared a love of doo-wop music and they would often go together to oldies concerts. Family and friends now host an annual doo-wop dinner fundraiser and a walk on the Long Beach boardwalk in his name. The money goes to the New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation, the FDNY Fire Family Transport Foundation and Hope for the Warriors.

“He was the greatest son you could ever imagine,” his father said. “There’s a gaping hole.”

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