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Local firefighters climb Manitou Incline to honor 9/11 fallen

Posted at 4:15 AM, Sep 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-11 09:46:50-04

Happening today, around ten of our own Colorado Springs firefighters will climb the Manitou Incline in full gear to pay tribute to the firefighters who lost their lives on that tragic day.

Nearly 350 firefighters lost their lives that day and this morning our own firefighters will climb the Incline steps in about 60 pounds of gear. For one of those firefighters, this climb has a personal connection.

“Steven was off duty, on vacation, heard the call,” explained RJ Gerry a firefighter for Cheyenne Mountain Airforce Station. “It was about a week and a half until his family knew he was gone.”

Steven Coakley and Lt. John Napolitano were two first responders who never made it back that day.

“They got up like me and you,” continued Gerry. “They got up to do their job. They just never came home.”

RJ Gerry, a firefighter at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station knew these men personally and decided to gather a group of colleagues to climb the over 2,700 steps of the Manitou Incline in full gear. The same gear those firefighters wore when they climbed the World Trade Center.

“It’s the least that I can do to show them I care,” said Gerry. “When the call goes out, we don’t think twice. We get on the truck and we go.”

This is the third time these firefighters have done this climb and they say they feel ready for today! They’ll start the hike around 8:30 a.m.