Firefighters Motorcycle Club Membership ‘Growing Steadily’ Across the UK
Membership of the British Firefighters Motorcycle Club (BFFMC) is growing steadily according to Peter Cowland, in charge or recruitment and membership since the clubs inception in 2011. He says ‘The BFFMC was conceived as a Chapter of the American FFMC following several trips we made with US firefighters, police officers and other service men and women on their annual 9/11 Memorial Ride. In 2007 when we rode from Chicago to New York it was agreed that we would start a club in the UK and so the BFFMC was born’.
The British Firefighters Motorcycle Club is a group of serving and retired motorcycle riding fire and rescue service personnel residing in the United Kingdom. The Club was formed to honour the memory of the 343 FDNY firefighters that lost their lives in New York City on 11th September 2001 and all other fire and rescue service personnel who have given their lives in the line of duty during both peace and war times.
Based in Hertfordshire, the Club has a membership throughout the UK and last year, in order to manage the growing numbers, two new Chapters were formed, one in Scotland and another in London. Peter said ‘We are delighted that so many firefighters, of all ages and from all over the UK, want to get together, ride their motorcycles, have a laugh and also do our bit in support of charity, road safety and ceremonial duties too’.
The BFFMC has just agreed that money collected at a number of its’ charity fund raising events throughout this year will be donated in support of the Bike Tours for the Wounded, a charity helping injured servicemen and women continue to enjoy riding on two wheels. Peter said ‘We are really excited about helping BT4TW and have already pledged to raise £1000 for them this year’, He added ‘Our members have strong ties to the military and when we met them on their recent John o Groats to Land’s End charity ride we expressed total admiration for what they are doing and now look forward to supporting them in any way we can’.
In May this year we travelled to Dunkirk to welcome into port all the “Little Ships” that took part in Operation Dynamo some 75 years ago. In particular the London Fire Brigade Fireboat “Massey Shaw”, herself credited with saving over 500 lives during the evacuation. With a mixed crew of volunteer River Service and Auxiliary Fire Service personnel, she answered the call and made for Ramsgate to join the other Little Ships heading for the beaches of Dunkirk. Having only a very shallow draft she was able to approach very close to the beaches at La Panne and Bray Dunes, and lift soldiers to larger vessels off shore.
Onwards and upwards then, the Club is currently planning yet another large event next year when it hopes to return to the US in September to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. Peter Cowland said ‘We are looking forward to meeting up with all our friends from across the pond and anyone else that would like to join us for part or all of the ride would be more than welcome. We would also welcome any assistance or maybe some sponsorship if anyone’s feeling generous’.
New members are always welcome, for more information visit www.bffmc.org or contact Tony Smith on 07967 715 143.