North West (NW) Fire Velo is a nonprofit organization of Northwestern United States professional IAFF firefighters who bicycle to show support and give back to veterans and first responders who have sacrificed for our freedoms. NW Fire Velo’s efforts benefit the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program through biannual multi-day cycling events: Firefighters Ride 4 R.I.S.E. (FFR4R). The 2019 ride will be from Seattle to Colorado Springs, finishing at the annual IAFF Fallen Firefighters memorial. In 2021 we ride from Los Angeles to New York, arriving on the 20th anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001.
We are continually your assistance to support us with our non-profit and our cycling events.
These monumental fundraising events and the vision behind them started with a Central Washington native, US Marine Corps Sgt. (Ret.) Nick Kimmel, his father Rick, and a family friend, Rich Smith of IAFF Local 1604. Nick, who is a severely wounded hero and a recipient of a specially adapted smart home through the R.I.S.E. program, wanted to give back to the Gary Sinise Foundation in appreciation for the amazing support they provided for him on his journey to regain his independence. The story of his sacrifice for our country can be seen on our website, www.ffr4r.com. The inaugural FFR4R event in 2017 that was supported by Washington State Council of Fire Fighters and every IAFF Local or volunteer department along our route was an astounding success. Six firefighters cycled from Seattle to Los Angeles and raised over $40,000 to support the R.I.S.E. program.
Gary Sinise started helping veterans like Nick soon after his role as Lieutenant Dan Taylor in the award-winning movie, Forrest Gump. After the horrific attacks of September 11th, 2001, he created his own foundation to help our nation’s most severely wounded veterans, first responders, and their families. The Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program was developed to build specially adapted smart homes, vehicles, and mobility devices for these brave defenders. In 2018, the Gary Sinise Foundation was awarded their second consecutive 4-star rating by Charity Navigator. 91.06% of each dollar the Foundation raises goes directly to support their programs.
“Firefighters winning the hearts of Americans through cycling for veterans and first responders, honoring those who sacrifice for our freedoms.”
In 2019 NW Fire Velo team traveled from Seattle to Colorado Springs, arriving September 21st honoring our fallen firefighters at the annual International Association of Fire Fighters, Fallen Firefighter Memorial. The 20-day cycling event starting August 29th, covered over 1,600 miles, climbed over 70,000 feet and visits to fire departments in five different states.
In 2021, our riders will be traveling from Los Angeles to New York, arriving on the 20th anniversary of the attacks on September 11th, 2001. We will visit the Flight 93 Memorial, the Pentagon and World Trade Center sites to honor all who’ve sacrificed since those attacks. This multi day cycling event will cover over 3,300 miles in 35 days.
NW Fire Velo along with our National Fire Velo non-profit hopes by partnering with your IAFF Local, we can make each year’s event part of a culture of giving across the nation and create an independence for those who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms.