AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - Texas first responders rode across the state for eight days honoring 14 first responders who died in the line of duty.
Thirty-three riders participated in the Texas Brotherhood Ride which started in Hempstead, then on to Dallas and ended at the Texas Capitol. Houston firefighter Robb Hyatt said the goal was to honor first emergency responders and give emotional and financial support to their families.
"We know we have a dangerous job we know when we put that uniform on sometimes we may not make it home," Hyatt said. "The route was tough we went through almost 16,000 feet elevation; every rider does every mile we average 80 to 100 miles a day it was very hot this year but we push each other as a team."
The team stopped in Round Rock to pay tribute to fallen Round Rock officer Charles Whites. Whites was killed in 2018 while directing traffic.
The riders carried dog tags with the names of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Houston firefighter James Wick wore his friend Damion Hobbs' helmet. Hobbs died while fighting a house fire in 2009.
"This was really surreal the whole thing being with the family members seeing their reaction when they know that their loved ones are not forgotten," Wick said. "Damian Hobbs was a character, awesome guy and really good friend."
The men and women persevered through the Texas heat and rode at total of 650 miles. Hobbs said it was the toughest thing he’s ever had to do. He thought of the piece of advice one of the riders gave him before he hit the road.
"When you are having a tough time look at the jersey right in front of you remember that each one of those guys if they could, would rather be here, remember their sacrifice and maybe that will push you through and help get you through this," Wick said. "Even though it's very difficult and it is a sacrifice it doesn't come close to the honor of riding for these guys."
For more information on the Texas Brotherhood Ride, visit their website.