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9/11 stair climb to honor fallen first responders and Deputy Peery

Posted at 7:05 PM, Sep 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-11 19:24:54-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — As we remember the events of 9/11, the support for first responders and those who lost their lives are being seen here in our community.

On Sunday, up to 100 local first responders will be walking up and down the steps at Weidner Field, the home of the Switchbacks. They’re inviting the community to remember the more than 300 fallen firefighters of 9/11 and to honor an El Paso County Deputy who was shot and killed last month.

Chad Otruba is a firefighter with the Carson Firefighters Association. He helped to organize the memorial stair climb.

“It’s important to keep their memories alive, and to honor those who lost their lives that day,” said Otruba, who mentioned this climb is for the firefighters who never made it back. “We are ready at any moment to go to one of those types of calls and know that one of us may not come home, or all of us, and so that’s what we sign up for.”

The climb of more than 2-thousand steps is also to honor El Paso County, deputy Andrew Peery. Last month, he was shot and killed in the line of duty while responding to a call.

“With the added layer of losing a deputy so close to 9/11, and being able to pour into his family and just show love and support through community, I believe it’s important for us to band together,” said Otruba.

The firefighters participating will be walking in full firefighter gear with up to 100 pounds of equipment. They’re showing their support for the first responders who gave the ultimate sacrifice including deputy Peery.

“Even though his life is lost, we’re always going to be there for them. No matter if it’s the thin blue line, thin red line, thin gold line, whatever it is,” said Otruba.

It’s the sixth year, the Carson Firefighters Association has held the memorial stair climb. Last year it was held at UCHealth Park, home of the Rocky Mountain Vibes.

“It’s just a surreal environment to watch first responders of all walks of life to be up and down these stairs and to climb for their own sake, said Otruba.

Those participating will also be given a photo of a fallen firefighter from 9/11. As people climb, they’ll climb in that person’s memory.

“To take in those moments and have an accountability tag of one of those first responders that lost their life, and to climb in their honor, it just ties it all in together,” said Otruba.

The family-friendly event will run from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

It's $50 per person to climb and the money raised will go to the Peery family. Sponsors and vendors are also welcome to take part. The cost for sponsors and vendors is $250. Organizers say all money raised will go directly to Deputy Peery's family.

All the information and registration links can be found at Remembering the Fallen Stair Climb.

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