Firefighter Stops in St. Joseph During Nationwide Tour

By Alan Van Zandt |

Published 08/11 2014 09:06PM

Updated 08/12 2014 09:53AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Please forgive bicyclist Jeff Moore as he pulls in to Fire Station #12 in north St. Joseph to take a break for the night.

The firefighter and paramedic is on day 32 of a 63-day bicycle trip from San Francisco to New York City.

Moore estimates he's traveled around 2,400 miles to this point.

"It's been such a great experience so far. I've met so many nice people," Moore said.

The Madison, Wisconsin man is on the ride to support and raise awareness for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. He says the foundation provides needed support for families who have lost a firefighter.

"They help with funeral arrangements, securing benefits from the government," Moore said. "They also do instructional materials to prevent line-of-duty deaths."

Moore says the idea of making a cross country trip grew after visiting other fire stations in his hometown.

"Last summer, I made it a goal to bike ride to every fire station in my county. I would just show up, knock on the door and ask for water. Everyone was really helpful so I was doing a lot of biking," he said.

A lot of the fun of the trip for Moore has been in bonding with all the firefighters he's met along the way.

"I really like meeting all of the different firefighters," he said. "There's different characters, like goofy firefighter, there's hardcore guys, there's athletic people."

Escorting Moore on his ride through northwest Missouri was St. Joseph firefighter Chuck Beaty, who says he's jealous of Moore and his journey.

"I've always wanted to do a cross country tour. It's a dream," Beaty said. "I was going to call the chief and ask if I could finish it out with him."

But it hasn't always been smooth riding for Moore. He says he's fought strong winds and a couple of hail storms along the way. But during those times, Moore says he remembers why he's riding.

"To honor, respect and remember fallen firefighters and the second one being to promote a positive image for the American Fire Service," he said. "Those are two things I think we've been able to achieve so far."

To donate to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, click here

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