Dozens of first responders from around the country hopped onto their bicycles and embarked on this year’s Texas Brotherhood Ride, a fundraising effort to raise money for the emotional and financial support of the families of first responders who died in the line of duty.
“This year’s ride started in Texarkana on Sunday,” stated firefighter Rob Hyatt, a rider and member of the nonprofit since 2014, speaking with Fox 4. “We will finish in Houston on Friday. It’s roughly six days and 500 miles.”
Hyatt previously explained to VoyageDallas why he joined:
“I became part of this organization because in 2009 I lost two crew members in the line of duty at a house fire my crew was at April 12th Easter Sunday morning. A year later, this organization honored my two fallen brothers … and that inspired me to buy a bike and do these rides.”
This year’s ride is intended to honor the 32 first responders who lost their lives in Texas in 2021. The names of the dead are printed on the back of the riders’ jerseys.
“We always want to honor our fallen brothers and sisters,” said Dominique Artis, Dallas Fire-Rescue chief, speaking with Fox 4. “It’s important that we don’t forget and always pay homage to them as well as their families.”
While the first Texas ride occurred in 2014, it seemed the organization did not gain much traction until its second ride in 2017, following the deadly July ambush against Dallas law enforcement officers that left five of them dead and many more injured.
Dallas Police Officer Scott Ash said he has been riding since the ambush. On Monday, in an emotional address to the families of fallen first responders, he said:
“I love y’all so much for giving us this opportunity. For allowing us to meet you and really make that connection. Because it means so much to all these guys because they’ve all lost friends and family.”
Texas Brotherhood Ride’s website states the group has “honored the memory and sacrifice of over 500 Emergency First Responders which includes; firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical personnel.”