Firefighters from Osoyoos to Revelstoke paid a heartfelt tribute to first responders who suited up to serve and protect 20 years ago when New York City’s World Trade Centre was hit by two planes that were taken over by hijackers.

The firefighters challenged each other to climb the equivalent of 110 flights of stairs, the same amount that many firefighters did on the day that North Americans and the world have not forgotten.

“It’s really heart wrenching knowing that our brothers and sisters had to go through that day and put their lives aside to go and make sure that the public was safe… unfortunate events happened, and they lost their lives that day,” said Jason Picklyk, Kelowna Professional Firefighters Charitable Society chairman.

Some members of the Kelowna Fire Department put on 110 pounds of equipment and climbed the 18 stories of Kelowna’s Landmark 6 Building as a tribute to the 343 firefighters who lost their lives trying to save others.

“It’s a lot of weight but it’s what the firefighters did 20 years ago,” said Justin Carr, Kelowna firefighter.

“It’s the 20th anniversary and climbing floors like this is a good way of remembering them,” said Bo Kutsiruba Kelowna firefighter.

Some West Kelowna firefighters climbed Mount Boucherie, others got creative and clocked their stairs on treadmills and others went on a hike.

Donations are still being accepted for the Kelowna Firefighters Charitable Society and Wounded Warriors Canada. For more information about how to donate visit

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