Memorial ride takes off from Florence for first time


FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – On Friday, dozens of cyclists left Florence for a three-day memorial ride honoring fallen first responders.

Every year people get together for this ride and it’s launched from various cities across the state.

Last year’s ride took off from Greenville.

This is the first year the bicycle ride had taken off from the Pee Dee. A sendoff ceremony was held at the Floyd Conference Center on the campus of Carolinas Hospital System.

Each cyclist was assigned a first responder who passed during 2016 who they will honor during the ride.

“Anyone who works for the public knows that many times it’s think less. You just do your job because you are passionate about it. These are people who have given years of service to the community and this is a way of giving back to them and saying thank you, for your years of service and that you didn’t go unnoticed,” said Joe McColl, organizer for the event.

On the way cyclists will rest at EMS and fire stations. They will also make a notable stop at the Darlington Raceway.

Special addition to this yearly celebration, are former Florence County EMS technicians Tessie Odom and Josh Craig.

They were both injured last summer after investigators say a drunk driver plowed into their ambulance in Florence County.

“Easily they could have been a name on the back of a shirt. This year we get to celebrate life. We can see how precious it is. When we see them we know that life can go away quick. I have invited them to be a part of the kickoff just so we can recognize just how quick life is.”

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