Man rides across country to thank firefighters

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GETTYSBURG, Pa. -- A man from Utah is riding his bike across the country and thanking firefighters along the way for their service, including in Gettysburg, Adams County.

Bob Quick is biking 4,000 miles and stopping at fire departments in each state.

Quick is riding through 10 states and has already visited more than 75 fire departments. He said he is thanking firefighters after he almost died from a heart attack in 2004, but paramedics resuscitated him.

Quick and his daughter Jillian are biking across the U.S. The adventure started in Oregon and will end in New York.

At the fire department in Butler, Pa., Quick said his thank you went a long way.

"I walked up and gave him a hug and thanked him and he broke down and tears came down his eyes. In 23 years he's never been thanked. Imagine that. 23 years at a job and you've never been thanked for serving your community," Quick said.

The firefighters from each department sign his bicycle, which he calls Bertha. This is Quick's second ride in three years and he and his daughter are biking for a cause.

Jillian Quick, Bob's daughter, said, "My six year old has autism. So I ride for all the kids that can't afford iPads because they switched everything over to electronics, and if they don't have the iPads they aren't going to make it anywhere."

She said it's important for people to be aware of the struggles of living with autism.

Jillian Quick said, "No matter how bad it gets being a parent of children with that disability, don't ever give up on them and don't ever treat them like they're stupid."

Last week, Bob Quick was hit by a car while riding his bike in Ohio. He suffered a concussion and multiple bruises. Many firefighters told him to stop.

"I'll push that bike to New York before I quit. They never quit on me how am I going to quit," Quick said.

But the journey is worth the pain.
"To see them give you a hug back and mean it, you don't know how much that means," Quick said.

They hope to finish their journey before Halloween.