Remembering 9/11 and the need for first responders | SkyHiNews.com

Remembering 9/11 and the need for first responders

Brady Mathis
Special to Sky-Hi News

Kremmling Fire Department will remember the sacrifice of first responders of 9/11 with a climb of 110 stair flights.

For many Americans, 9/11 is a meaningful number. For some, it conjures painful memories. For others it evokes feelings of national pride and resilience.

For Kremmling Firefighter Travis Bagley, the selfless acts of first responders who served and died in the line of duty on 9/11 inspire action.

Bagley has organized a memorial stair climb at the Kremmling Fire Station where he and other volunteer firefighters will climb 110 flights on Sept. 11.

One-hundred-and-ten flights of stairs represent the 110 floors of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center, which collapsed. Participants in the stair climb will also wear full firefighter protective gear weighing about 45 pounds to honor the 343 firefighters who gave their lives on 9/11 working to rescue those trapped in the towers. "It will be hard," said Bagley.

The monumental effort of stair climb participants honors those who faced insurmountable obstacles and yet still chose to serve others above themselves.

In addition to honoring the fallen, the memorial stair climb is also an effort to raise awareness of the need for first responders in our community. While 9/11 reminds us of the inestimable losses so many suffered, it also highlights the triumph of American spirit in the dedication of our first responders – both professional and volunteer alike.

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As deplorable as the terrorist attacks on 9/11 were, how much more would Americans have suffered if no one responded to the calls for help?

While the emergencies that face our community today may not have the magnitude of the 9/11 terror attacks, we still need first responders. Moreover, when we call for help, we need men and women who are trained and ready to act, who can make difficult decisions quickly, and remain steadfast in the face of danger – just like those who served at Ground Zero. In Kremmling, firefighters who train to fill this role are volunteers.

The volunteer firefighters in Kremmling hold jobs and manage busy family life like many of us. Yet, these men and women also dedicate their time to learning, training, and continual self-improvement so they can be ready to respond. This attitude of professionalism and selfless service is what the Kremmling firefighters remember and portray as they climb the stairs on 9/11. We invite community members to show their support for the volunteer first responders at this memorial event. Come by the Kremmling fire station to enjoy the fall weather and encourage the firefighters as they complete the stair climb. Climbers will assemble at 8:30 a.m. and begin climbing at 9:03 a.m., the time that Flight 175 struck the South Tower in 2001.

Supporting first responders is an integral part of our American spirit. So is taking action when there is a need. Today, the need is for volunteers to dedicate time and effort to become firefighters. Are you ready to take action? If you want to make a difference in your community, if you want to be part of a team, if you want to challenge yourself to improve and grow, then consider volunteering with Kremmling Fire.

Brady Mathis is a firefighter technician with the Kremmling Fire Department.

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