Firefighters embark on Texas Brotherhood Ride to honor fallen comrades

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - The Texas Brotherhood Ride kicked off in Plaquemine, Louisiana, on Thursday.

Forty-one firefighters and law enforcement officers from Houston and across the country are riding to honor the 19 Texas firefighters who died in the line of duty last year, including HFD firefighters Matthew Renaud, Robert Bebee, Robert Garner and Anne Sullivan, who were killed in the Southwest Inn motel fire on May 31, 2013.

"We want to pay tribute to all of our brothers and sisters that have fallen in the line of duty," said HFD firefighter Michael Cruz.

The riders' mission is to provide emotional and financial support to the families of fallen first responders.

"It gives you a sense of honor it gives you a sense of feeling like you've done something to give back to them," said HFD firefighter Jerry Turner.

The journey is 800 miles. The cyclists started in Louisiana Thursday morning and will ride between 80 to 100 miles a day. They will travel up to Dallas then down to West and Bryan and arrive in Houston next week on May 30.

"It doesn't matter what part of the country we are from, even if we don't know them. We're still going to do. We're still going to cycle for them," Cruz said.

In the past six years, cyclists have donated close to $200,000 to the families of those fallen first responders.

You can track the cyclists progress online by clicking on this link.

Copyright 2014 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.