(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — A former German firefighter is traveling across the U.S. on a bicycle while raising money for a good cause.
This bicyclist is visiting and staying at various fire stations across the country with Erie being his latest stop.
This is Joerg Richter’s third time driving across the U.S. all to raise money to support children with rare diseases.
The journey for the retired firefighter started in San Francisco, California and will end in Central Park of New York City while riding his bike the whole way.
Ritcher is stopping in several major cities along his way to connect with local firefighters.
Through this tour, an organization known as Rare for Care America is accepting donations for children suffering from rare diseases.
“I have a friend that has a kid with a rare disease and I did the first trip in 2015 from Seattle to New York, passed Erie already back then, and in the years between 33,000 miles in the meanwhile for the kids,” said Joerg Richter, Former German Firefighter.
To help welcome Joerg and give him a little break, the South Central Fire Department hosted a meal for him, as well as the crew on the clock.
Local firefighters that were staying with Joerg said that they are making connections thanks to common expenses.
The deputy chief said that the firefighter community is a tight knit group that can open up to one another thanks to what they’ve seen out in the field.
Regardless of his retired status, Joerg is still a member of the community.
“You know, once you’re a firefighter, you’re always a firefighter and part of your job is to help people in anyway that we can, and it doesn’t surprise me that this gentleman has gone ahead and wants to enjoy bicycling and for a good cause. That’s what firefighters do,” said Fred Gillespie, Deputy Chief, City of Erie Fire Department.
In terms of that dinner Joerg was scheduled to do, duty called as he and the firefighters had to rush out the doors to an emergency call.
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Seems that being retired and in a foreign country still couldn’t pull the German firefighter away from the action.