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Durant Honors 9/11 First Responders with Stair Climb Challenge

Posted on September 15, 2020

DURANT, Okla. (KXII) – A Texoma gym honors the first responders that lost their lives in the attacks of 9/11 by inviting the public to use their stair climbing machines. A local firefighter shares why he does the 110 flight climb every year.

“One of the biggest things that’s impacted my life and I think the lives of a lot of Americans is 9/11,” said Workout Anytime Durant owner, Rana Pawan.

19 years ago was a day we as a nation will never forget. Jay Bergner recalls watching the news at work, with fellow EMS workers.

“Just thinking back, I’d been to the World Trade Center in the early 90s. Got family that lives out there; was thinking of them. Cause they’re just across the river, and saw it happen,” said Bergner.

Now a Durant firefighter, he climbs 110 flights of stairs in honor of the brother and sisterhood of first responders.

“Been interested in fire service since I was 14. So as soon as I turned 18 I’ve been in it,” said Bergner.

He is one of the reasons why Pawan says she holds this event.

“This is something really personal for him being a firefighter and having family in Jersey, so my intent is for him to be here every year that we do this,” said Pawan.

Even those without a gym membership are invited to complete 110 flights of stairs, in remembrance of first responders who lost their lives 19 years ago.

“These firefighters went into the towers to save lives knowing that they would end up losing their own lives,” said Pawan.

“People thank us and tell us heroes. We appreciate that, but you know we signed up to do this. It’s what we wanted to do, help people,” said Bergner.

Durant fire provided fire uniforms for the day for stair climbers to wear.

“Next year’s gonna be the 20th anniversary so we’ve got a whole generation of kids out there that don’t know about 9/11, and that’s another big reason that we do this,” said Pawan.

They want to continue this tradition every year, in hopes of keeping the memory of our patriotism alive in generations to come.

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