Okanagan firefighters climb 110 storeys, many in full gear, in memory of 9/11
Firefighters from across the Okanagan climbed thousands of steps on Wednesday morning in memory those who died 18 years ago on Sept. 11, 2001.
And many did so in full gear in remembrance of their fallen firefighting comrades.
The Kelowna Professional Firefighters Charitable Society (KPFCS) hosted its second annual 9/11 Stair Climb at the 18-storey LandMark 6 building on Dickson Avenue.
There, 22 participants climbed the equivalent of 110 storeys — the height of the former World Trade Center towers — in memory of the 343 New York Fire Department members who died on 9/11.
“We’re doing this to remember 9/11,” said firefighter Randall Andres, adding it was “pretty gruelling.”
According to KPFCS, each participating firefighter made a minimum $20 donation, with proceeds going to Wounded Warriors Canada to support first responders and their families.
WATCH: (July 3, 2019) Son of 9/11 responder talks about final moments with father, says he told him ‘I love you dad’
Glenn Paley, a training officer with the Kelowna Fire Department, said Wounded Warriors Canada was the chosen charity because they support first responders, police officers, paramedics and military members with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“It’s pretty gruelling, as you can imagine,” Paley said on climbing 110 storeys. “The firefighters are wearing approximately 60 lbs. of gear with the clothing they wear, the airpack, helmets and boots, that sort of thing.
“So not only do they have their bodyweight, they have the weight of their gear and going up stairs. Of course, the gear is very hot as well, so it’s a pretty gruelling thing to accomplish.”
WATCH: (Sept. 12, 2018) Bald eagle lands on top of a firetruck ladder during 9/11 ceremony
Paley added, “and what we need to remember is the firefighters that day, not only did they have to climb, but they had to go to work. So what we’re experiencing is nowhere near as challenging as what firefighters would have [experienced] on that day.”
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