Kyra is the Rotorua Daily Post's police, emergency and court reporter.

Firefighters remember 9/11 with 'shattering' run

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HONOUR: A group of firefighters from Ngongotaha joined comrades from around the world to remember 9/11. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
HONOUR: A group of firefighters from Ngongotaha joined comrades from around the world to remember 9/11. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

On the 15th anniversary of 9/11 four local firefighters climbed more than 90 flights of stairs to show respect for their fallen comrades.

Ngongotaha firefighters Paul Osborne, Justin Nichols, Liam Wallbridge and Ricardo Wallace ran up and down the Auckland Sky Tower twice in their full kits weighing 31.5kg in a memorial run on Sunday.

It was the 15-year anniversary of what was the most significant day worldwide for those working in the fire service, when the New York Fire Department lost 343 firefighters.

Ngongotaha volunteer firefighter Justin Nichols said it was hard work.

"It was hot. It was very humbling, they had the faces of the fallen firefighters in the stair wells.

"It was a long day, but I would most definitely do it again. It was cool seeing all the different fighters from around New Zealand, it was a good reminder of what we do."

He said the second time up was the hardest and there was a moment he had to remind himself why he was doing it.

"It was worth it," he said.

Ngongotaha volunteer fire service chief Francis Boag said he would have liked to participate, but they still had to keep a crew in Ngongotaha in case of an emergency.

"I'm extremely proud of them, we gave a gift to the New York firefighters. It was a breathing apparatus cylinder which had all the fallen firefighters' names from 9/11 and New Zealand's who have fallen as well.

"It was a very special thing for them and they said it was very humbling to receive it," Mr Boag said.

Ngongotaha volunteer firefighter Paul Osborne said it was shattering but worth it.

"The guys were stoked with their effort and it was great presenting our gift to the Americans, it's going to travel around all the New York fire stations."

He said he would definitely be getting a crew together to do it again next year.

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