Local efforts support first responders and victims of 9/11

Local efforts support first responders and victims of 9/11
Posted at 5:08 PM, Sep 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-13 19:31:16-04

EL PASO CO. — As we remember the events of 9/11, the support for local first responders and those who lost their lives is being seen right here in our community.

Pikes Peak Brewing in Monument is where one of those tributes is taking place. Inside the brewery, there is a firefighter wall, and until September 18th, customers can buy a beer for local firefighters. Local firefighters can get that free beer until the end of the month.

Chris Wright, the founder and head brewer said they simply want to give back to first responders who serve and protect our community.

"We have a core of firefighters who come here all the time, our regulars, and just created such a bond with them," said Wright. "Plus, we always like to give back to our community and the people who serve our community that make this little corner of Colorado that much more special."

Every year in September, the brewery brews a beer called 'The Local 5 Firefighter Pale Ale.' It's brewed and canned with the help of local firefighters.

"I'm always in awe when they come in and help us produce that beer. Just thinking of what they do everyday, these heroes are helping us make this beer, it just warms my heart, and they make this beer that much more special," said Wright.

Wright also said the proceeds from sales on the beer and merchandise will go to Local 5, a local charity supporting firefighters. This year the support means that much more.

"This being the 20th year since the 9/11 tragedy, it really is poignant to celebrate those people, that gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect other people," said Wright.

Meanwhile, the Carson Firefighters Assocation will be holding a memorial stair climb on Saturday, September 11 at UC Health Park.

"We're going to try mimic the steps that were taken of all the first responders on 9/11, which would be over 2,000 steps," said Chad Otruba, a firefighter with the association. "We want to continue to honor those first responders who lost their lives 20 years ago, and remember their names and keep that memory of those individuals."

Otruba says they'll be walking with up to 100 pounds of equipment to remember the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on that day.

"Think about climbing those World Trade Centers 20 years ago, knowing that things are on fire, people need your help and ultimately not knowing they were going to lose their lives that day but they still went in and they still offered that sacrifice," said Otruba. "Being a first responder is showing up when the worst situations happen, and paying the ultimate sacrifice in an effort to save a life."

On 9/11, firefighters showed the world what it means to be a first responder, and as people climb the steps at UC Health Park this weekend, they'll be wearing a badge of one of those fallen.

"As they climb, they will be climbing in their honor, specifically, and they'll get to keep that as a keep sake, and it will be climbing in their memory," said Otruba.

Registration for the Memorial Stair Climb at UC Health Park begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday and costs $50 per person. Members of the fire department, police department, and EMT's are welcome to participate, as well as veterans and active duty military and people affiliated with any of those departments.

Proceeds raised will go to Operation Step Up, which is a local effort to help get homeless veterans off the streets.