Interior firefighters climb 1,100 ft to honour those lost in 9/11 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Interior firefighters climb 1,100 ft to honour those lost in 9/11

Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Big White Ski Resort
September 11, 2021 - 1:04 PM

Across the Interior, firefighters are donning their gear and climbing 1,100 feet to honour firefighters lost in the 9/11 terrorist attack.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the World Trade Centre in New York, the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

READ MORE: 9/11 fallout includes decades of worry about toxic WTC dust

Each 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb participant pays tribute to New York City firefighters who lost their lives to save others by climbing or walking the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center, according to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Co-organizer Colton MacDonald, with the Kelowna Fire Department, said they typically hold the event at the Landmark District in the city but this year they're holding it virtually due to rising COVID-19 cases in the region.

“As firefighters, the first thing we look at with an incident like that in a high-rise is the amount of staffing it takes to get even just equipment up there and the amount of time,” he said. “It’s so labour intensive so it seems unfathomable.”

This year has even more meaning with the 20th anniversary, he said.

“It strikes a bit of a different chord because it really makes you realize how much of an impact it had on people, when even after 20 years it’s still so fresh on everyone’s minds and still present in the community, especially our community at the fire hall. Everyone knows where they were that day and what it was like afterwards,” MacDonald said.

Other fire departments were able to hold their stair climbs this year, including Big White, where firefighters took to the outdoors to complete their climb.

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